In recognition of the 100th Anniversary of World War I, beginning in the fall of 2016, the Green Mountain Boys Chapter in San Antonio TX, has been recognizing and honoring WWI memorial locations and burial sites of WWI veterans. What better way to recognize these WWI sites than with a handmade wreath!
Spearheaded by Chapter Vice Regent Lorena Repaal, several wreath making sessions and wreath laying events have been completed and continue to be planned as the commemoration of WWI continues.
The first wreath laying event was at the Army Residence Community where the chapter meets. In addition to a wreath being placed, poppy seeds were planted.
Lorena Repaal contacted the Texas WWI Commemoration Commission, and the chapter, along with other Texas DAR Chapters, has partnered with them to locate burial sites and place wreaths at the graves of WWI Veterans. See https://www.texasworldwar1centennial.org/2018/03/25/texas-wwi-centennial-community-partners-daughters-american-revolution/
On the Fourth of July 2017, The Green Mountain Boys Chapter conducted a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of Texan David Barkley on July 4, 2017. Barkley was the first Hispanic Medal of Honor recipient and one of four Texans to receive the Medal for actions in the Great War. The chapter will also be making a wreath for placement at his grave on Armistice Day 2018.
As there was no database for WWI graves at the national veterans cemeteries in San Antonio, the Boy Scouts finished a very long and tedious location find for WWI gravestones in both the National Cemetery and Fort Sam Houston Veterans Cemetery and provided a total number of graves…. 7800.
Since the chapter could not make this many wreaths, it was decided to collect names and places of burial of Chapter loved ones, along with names collected at a Health Fair at the Army Residence Community and place wreaths on these grave. Chapter members have been donating time and purchasing silk poppies, wreath forms and other materials for two years to construct the wreaths. Pictures are from the chapter social hour before the April 2018 where the chapter meeting was devoted to wreath construction.
A wreath from the Green Mountain Boys Chapter has even been placed internationally. During her Australian vacation, Lorena Repaal partnered with the Texas WWI Commemoration Commission, the US Consul General, (who is an Oregon Daughter), the Captain James Cook Units Overseas Chapter, NSDAR and the ANZAC Memorial in Sydney Australia to organize a wreath laying ceremony in December 2017 to commemorate the Australian Forces lost in the War.