Volunteers lay wreaths for fallen veterans at Philadelphia cemetery

YEADON, Pa. -- Lined up in a perfectly orderly fashion as if they were reporting for duty, these graves of fallen heroes awaited their rightful visitors this morning.

They were greeted by dozens of volunteers, many of whom had no relation to the veterans buried there at Mount Moriah Cemetery. However, they recognized the need to respect and remember those who have served, especially during the holiday season.

Trucks delivered boxes worth of wreaths to lay upon the graves of over two thousand sailors at the Naval Asylum Plot on the Yeadon, Delaware County side of the cemetery. It was part of Wreaths Across America, a nationwide event that occurred simultaneously at noon today. As part of the services, a representative for each branch of the military was identified among those buried at the cemetery to receive a special service wreath.

Over 5,000 wreaths were donated by the community with over 2,000 donated from Subaru of America.

Also present at the ceremony were guest speakers Capt. Ralph W. Galati, USAF, and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon. The Philadelphia Police Department Color Guard and Rifle Squad were there to perform a three-volley salute and Taps before retiring the colors.

The Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery are leading a movement to restore the 200-acre cemetery that bridges Philadelphia and Delaware County. While many of those buried there are preserved nicely, others have been consumed by overgrowth of trees and bushes. One volunteer, Ron Ruppert, tells us he has been able to find and visit the resting places of his great grandparents and great aunt and uncle since the restoration began.

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