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Wreaths Across America Greeted by IC School & Clarion Fire and Hose

Thursday, December 12, 2019 @ 12:12 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

1D4A8235CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Students of Immaculate Conception School and the Clarion Fire and Hose Company gave a warm welcome Wednesday morning to a Harry Ball semi-truck delivering wreaths to cover every one of the 140 veteran’s graves in Clarion cemeteries.

(Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)

Chuck Andrews, of Harry Ball Trucking in Ohio, made his first visit to Clarion.

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“You’re a new stop, and I’ve got to hand it to Noreen Shirey, the Clarion Coordinator for Wreaths Across America. She said she’s got enough wreaths for every veteran’s grave in Clarion, and that is remarkable,” said Andrews.

“For a first-year event to be able to do that is impressive. I’m just so thrilled to be able to be a part of that. My cemetery in Rittman, Ohio, the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, has 32,000 graves, but they only got about a little over half of them covered. So, we’re in a big city, you know, and that breaks my heart. A small town like Clarion gathers together and raises enough money for every veteran’s grave in the cemetery here. That’s amazing.”

Andrews said his truck trailer was packed with at least 4,000 wreaths he is delivering from Columbia Falls, Maine. He has seven more communities to visit.

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“Tomorrow morning I start in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.”

“I’ve been involved with Wreaths Across America, donating and stuff for about five years. This is our second year actually trucking wreaths. It’s really nice for my first stop to see a huge parade like this. We’re getting the community out, and that’s part of what this is all about, and I love to do it. It’s just a labor of love for my brother and me and our trucking company.”

Andrews talked with IC students and the Clarion Fire Department during his stop along Main Street.

“I’d rather converse with a few hundred instead of a few hundred thousand,” said Andrews. “This is fine with me.”

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The official ceremony to place the wreaths on the veterans’ graves will be on Saturday, December 14, at noon. The public is encouraged to attend the ceremony. Volunteers are also needed to place the wreaths on the graves of veterans buried in the Clarion and Immaculate Cemeteries located on Second Avenue in Clarion.


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