Letter: ‘Thank You’ for New Canaan Veterans Wreath Project Help

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Wreaths laid on gravestones at Lakeview Cemetery, in 2008, the first year the VFW project was put in place. Kristen Gregorio photo

Editor,

In a time marked with sadness and pervading bad news – it is wonderful that the New Canaan VFW can bring a heartwarming story of our community rising up to accomplish something wonderful.

On behalf of the Officers and Members of the Howard M. Bossa & Peter C. Langenus Post 653 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, we would like to thank everyone who made this year’s wreaths project a success – despite the adversities of the COVID pandemic.

Over 1,100 wreaths with bows were placed on every veteran’s grave in New Canaan, not just at Lakeview Cemetery, but at every private or historic cemetery within our Town.  This massive undertaking would not have been possible without the incredible work of many volunteers and organizations – but most importantly, led by the exceptional efforts of Chris and Frances Wilson.

From preplanning to ensure that we met Sector Guidelines for gatherings during the Pandemic, ensuring groups were socially distancing or family groups, getting groups to tie the bows – then move the wreaths to the cemetery for placement – months of effort by Chris and Frances led to a flawless execution of Peter Langenus’ vision.

We would also be remiss if we did not acknowledge and thank the many donors who stepped up during a time we could not raise funds through our Poppies donations during Memorial Day week.  It truly speaks to just how wonderful the residents of New Canaan are when we come together for a common goal – enabling us to raise the $11,000 needed to purchase the wreaths entirely through private donations.  A powerful positive moment of hope in a difficult time for many – where we all need more good news.

We would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped in all stages of the project who we cannot name individually, and acknowledge the community organizations that helped us in executing this project:

  • New Canaan Exchange Club
  • Boy Scout Troop 70
  • Boy Scout Troop 31
  • Girl Scouts
  • Service League of Boys
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • National Charity League of New Canaan
  • Community Emergency Response Team
  • New Canaan Fire Company #1
  • St. Aloysius Youth Group
  • Lakeview Cemetery
  • Spencer Schubert, Jon Aspinwall, Jake Aspinwall, Dennis Brown for Trucks & Logistics
  • Merrie Bee Cabin Board

Thank you everyone for making this possible – and in particular, thank you again to Chris and Frances Wilson!

Regards,

Russell Kimes, III
Commander, VFW Post 653

Donations to the New Canaan VFW (a 501(c)3 non-profit) can be made via check to:
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 653
P.O. BOX 653
New Canaan, CT 06840

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