Eaton Fundamental Middle School students raise nearly $1,100 for Wreaths Across America Hampton
Eaton Fundamental Middle School students raised nearly $1,100 for Wreaths Across America Hampton, which will provide 71 wreaths for the graves of veterans in Hampton.
Athena Sivongsa, a social studies teacher at Eaton, shared the idea of raising money for wreaths with the school administration. The school had been participating in several activities to celebrate November as Military Family Appreciation Month, and this fundraiser nicely fit those activities.
“We thought a fundraiser for Wreaths Across America would be great because last year only 6,000 of the headstones had wreaths, and there are 33,000 headstones in Hampton alone,” she said. Sivongsa added that 23 of the 30 homeroom classes participated in the fundraising activity.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the first burials that took place in Hampton National Cemetery occurred in 1862, and burials included many soldiers who died at Fort Monroe and other military hospitals in the vicinity. There are 638 unknown soldiers buried at Hampton National Cemetery – most of them Civil War soldiers who fell in combat and were originally buried on the battlefield. The cemetery is also one of 13 national cemeteries in which World War II prisoners of war are interred.
Wreaths Across America is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. In 2015, 901,000 remembrance wreaths were placed in total across the country.
National Wreaths Across America Day is Dec. 17. Students and staff members from Eaton will be attending the Hampton ceremony.
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