"Thanks to the generosity of the people in the Flathead Valley, and their donations as we stood out in front of super markets all summer, we were able to purchase a thousand wreaths to place on Veterans graves".
The wreaths laid at the 2017 event, she noted, exceeded the 4,300 placed previous year, but fell just 2,000 shy of filling the entire cemetery.
"What the actual wreath laying is for is to remember, honor, and teach individuals they should remember the veterans that come before us and fallen and honor them by laying a wreath", said Shawn Howren, location coordinator. "We're here to remember not their deaths, but their lives".
1875 total grave sites will be among those that will be honored at the event.
This was the first year that a cemetery in Jackson hosted the nation-wide event, which began in 1992 when ME resident Morrill Worcester laid surplus wreaths from his family wreath company on graves in Arlington National Cemetery. Watson serves as the Commander for the local Civil Air Patrol.
In addition to the honor guard, there were several uniformed members of the Norwin High School JROTC among the crowd of about 200 laying wreaths.
During the ceremony, a service member from each branch of the USA armed forces carried a wreath, decorated with a red bow, to the cemetery's tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument, and rendered a salute.
All of nearly 400 graves at the Vermont Veterans Home, some dating back as far as the Civil War, were decorated with wreaths on Saturday with the help of a local woman who wanted to make sure all the veterans buried on the grounds of the home got their due. "We are a better community and better nation because of them".
Maroney said it was "amazing" to see all the wreaths on display this year.