SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Scotch Plains Baptist Church was set on Saturday to host its fourth Wreaths Across America event at which wreaths are laid on the graves of war veterans all across the country. The only problem was that the wreaths never arrived.
"We didn't know they weren't coming until this morning, but fortunately, we had a Plan B in place," said event organizer Joe McCourt, a Vietnam veteran and member of nearby American Legion Post 209. "We were able to get ceremonial wreaths from Lisa Mohn of Apple Blossom Flower Shop. She saved the day and was able to have the wreaths ready in less than an hour for the ceremony, which was scheduled to start at noon."
Eventually, McCourt got a call from the shipping company and learned that the wreaths would not arrive today. This year marked the fourth year that Scotch Plains Baptist Church hosted the event in its graveyard, which is the final resting place for 92 soldiers who served in conflicts from the American Revolution through Vietnam.
"I don't think it took away from the event," McCourt said. "It would have been nice to have the wreaths so that people could put them on the graves and say their names to remember them. But overall our plan B worked out well."
McCourt said that the Wreaths Across America organization may send wreaths this week, but it is yet to be determined whether the event might take place.
"We don't know when it might be. The shipping company didn't know the exact time frame of arrival," McCourt said.
The event featured participation of local veterans and members of the Captain Bud Jackson Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith and Councilmembers Elizabeth Stamler, Josh Losardo, and Ted Spera also attended the ceremony.
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