NEW JERSEY - While the holiday season is a festive time for many, it can also be a lonely time for residents including numerous veterans. In an effort to spread holiday cheer to veterans, American Legion Post 253 on Devoe Avenue in Spotswood is hosting its annual holiday party for veterans on Saturday, December 12.

"The Ladies Auxiliary, a unit under the American Legion, believes that the best support to our veterans is being active with them, giving our time for all they have done for us," explained Arlene Baum, special services secretary.

The Post will be hosting approximately 17 veterans from the Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home at their seasonal event honoring vets. The Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home is an assisted living facility that provides long-term care for veterans, spouses and Gold Star parents.

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Veterans attending the December 12 party will be treated to a hot lunch along with entertainment from local Girl Scouts who will sing holiday carols. Members from area Boy Scout troops "will hang and talk with the veterans." There will also be a live band and the veterans will receive gifts as well.

"They deserve this and more," added Baum.

Saturday, December 12 is also National Wreaths Across America Day. Wreaths Across America's mission is to "remember, honor and teach." The organization seeks to lay a wreath on every gravestone at Arlington National Cemetary as well as in cemetaries throughout the 50 states to remember those who have served.

In the week prior, they organize events that include ceremonies, tributes and a "Veteran's Parade" from Maine to Virginia. Their goal is to remember fallen heroes, honor those in military service past and present as well as educate children about the sacrifices endured by military personnel and their families.

In our area, a wreath laying ceremony will be held at the Old Historic Colonial Cemetary in Metuchen at noon. All are welcome to attend the special ceremony including children.

Wreaths Across America is able to complete their annual mission due to the contributions of thousands of people. Wreaths are purchased through the donations of individuals and corporate sponsors. Truck drivers also volunteer their services to make the huge remembrance endeavor possible.