The Rock Island National Cemetery and the Fenton Cemetery in Whiteside County will participate in the national Wreaths Across America program.

The National Cemetery will conduct a remembrance ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 11 a.m. This is a special event and vetting will take place at the gate and will not require obtaining a visitor’s pass to access the installation and the cemetery.

The keynote speaker will be Col. Daniel D. Mitchell, garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison Rock Island Arsenal. Mitchell took command of the garrison on July 14. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy West Point and holds a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in defense analysis and strategic studies.

The garrison provides facilities and base operations support and services to all Rock Island Arsenal tenants in the areas of law enforcement, crime prevention, security management, fire, safety, information management, facilities engineering, housing, infrastructure maintenance, and transportation. The installation is home to more than 50 tenant organizations providing critical products and services to the armed services. It employs more than 5,000 military, civilian, and contractor personnel.

The cemetery’s remembrance ceremony will include the laying of ceremonial wreaths to honor each of the military services, POWs, and all veterans, past and present. The Department of Veteran Affairs works hand-in-hand with the national nonprofit Wreath Across America organization across the country to assist in the remembrance and recognition of our veteran population during the holiday season.

At the Fenton Cemetery in Fenton, Ill., Wreaths Across American Coordinator Tom Pons sold five wreaths, then was “extremely grateful” that an anonymous donor purchased wreaths to be placed on the rest of the 72 veterans’ grave sites at the cemetery, a news release says.

The Fenton Cemetery ceremony also will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17.

For more about Wreaths Across America, visit here. For more information about the Fenton Cemetery wreaths, call Pons at 309-737-9537.

The national nonprofit Wreaths Across America organization is working hard to ensure no veteran from the Quad City Area is forgotten this holiday season, a news release says. Individuals who would like to sponsor a wreath can contact Wreaths Across America here.

Each year the Wreaths Across America program ensures that remembrance wreaths will be placed at the headstones of fallen veterans at nearly 1,000 locations across the country and overseas.