In addition to JROTC cadets and Scouts, volunteers helped lay wreaths Saturday for all 1,100 veterans in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

1,100 veterans in Mt. Hope Cemetery honored with wreaths

Scores of people gathered at Mt. Hope Cemetery Saturday to honor veterans with the Wreaths Across America program.

Speakers at the respectful ceremony preceding the wreath laying, included Mayor Lynn Ragsdale, JROTC instructor Lt. Col. (ret) Dustin Elder and Mt. Hope Cemetery administrator Travis Boyd. 

Boyd thanked his staff for helping to identify the graves of veterans.

But there’s little doubt the event would have happened if it weren’t for the relentless nature of Susie Crutcher. 

Elder said she contacted him a year ago and didn’t let up.

Crutcher initially set a goal of raising enough money for as many wreaths as possible. It was rather overwhelming to learn 1,100 wreaths would be necessary.

She reached out to organizations and donors and was gratified when enough was raised to lay a wreath for every veteran in Mt. Hope.

JROTC cadets and Scouts first laid wreaths at the base of each military branch monument at the Veterans Memorial in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

American Legion Post 13 provides a 21-gun salute.

Susie Crutcher points to locations in the cemetery for those picking up wreaths that they reserved for veterans in their family.