People who attend Wreaths Across America ceremonies are invited to place wreaths at the graves at the two national cemeteries in the area.

People who attend Wreaths Across America ceremonies are invited to place wreaths at the graves at the two national cemeteries in the area.

Organizers of one of the local ceremonies are hoping for a larger than usual turnout for this year’s ceremony, which will take place Dec. 16. That is because an anonymous donor has brought the total number of wreaths that have been purchased for this year’s ceremony at the Leavenworth National Cemetery to 10,000.

“We would be happy for anybody that wants to come out and place a wreath to come on out because that’s a lot of wreaths,” Rebecca Keopke said.

Keopke is a volunteer who is involved in the Wreaths Across America program at the Leavenworth National Cemetery. She will take over the duties of coordinating the ceremony next year.

The Leavenworth National Cemetery and Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery have Wreaths Across America ceremonies each year.

Both of this year’s ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m. Dec. 16. The ceremonies are open to the public.

Similar events will take place at more than 1,200 locations in the United States and elsewhere in the world, according to the Wreaths Across America website.

The tradition of Wreaths Across America began in 1992 when a wreath company in Maine had a surplus near the end of the holiday season. The owner helped make arrangements for wreaths to be placed in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

In 2007, a not-for-profit organization was formed to help continue and expand the program, according to the organization’s website.

Wreaths for the local ceremonies are purchased by donors.

Keopke said about 1,800 wreaths had been purchased this year for the Leavenworth National Cemetery ceremony when organizers learned an anonymous donor was going to increase the number to 10,000.

“We were floored,” she said.

The Leavenworth National Cemetery is located at 150 Muncie Road near the Eisenhower VA Medical Center.

The ceremony for the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery will begin at the Frontier Conference Center, which is located across the street from the cemetery at 350 Biddle Boulevard.

Following the indoor ceremony, attendees will be asked to move to the cemetery to lay the wreaths, according to Diana Pitts.

She is the coordinator for the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery ceremony.

She said more than 6,000 wreaths have been donated for the Fort Leavenworth ceremony.

Pitts said volunteers for the ceremony have been focusing on educating people about the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

She said many people in the community may not realize the cemetery exists.

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