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Wreaths will be laid at Fort Devens

DEVENS — Local residents will join people across the nation in laying wreaths on the graves of veterans Saturday.

“It’s not about decorating the graves, it’s about remembering the people,” said Paul Monohon, a Training Coordinator at Fort Devens.

During an hour-long ceremony starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, more than 400 wreaths will be placed at Fort Devens Cemetery on 50 Patton Road.

The wreaths — donated by individuals, Girl and Boy Scout troops and local veteran groups — are part of National Wreaths Across America Day. A convoy carrying truckloads of wreaths from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery stopped Tuesday morning at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg for a remembrance program before continuing on its journey.

Every year on the third Saturday in December, the national group organizes a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, coinciding with over 1,200 locations across the world. The event at Devens is open to the public.

“Every year at the same time, at the same date, at every national cemetery in the U.S. volunteers come and place wreaths on the graves of all the deceased veterans everywhere at once,” Monohon said. “It’s a pretty impressive thing.”

Monohon said this long standing tradition at Devens, which also has a personal meaning.

“I got three of my guys buried in Arlington,” he said. “I wish I was there (for the ceremony), but I can’t be.”

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