Peters Township High School junior Tiffany Trunk knew she wanted to help grow a project for which she’s passionate. The project has nearly quadrupled in size since 2009.
At 16, Trunk is a cadet technical sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol.
Yearly, she and Squadron 601, also known as the Crusader Squadron, participate in Wreaths for America Day to honor veterans. During her first year, she noticed there weren’t enough wreaths at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, in Cecil Township, where the ceremony is held.
“Each wreath has to be sponsored,” she said. “There weren’t enough. I knew it needed to be promoted more, but I knew I had to take one step at a time.”
The annual event takes place this Saturday—a national moment of silence will be observed at noon. During that time, Trunk and her squadron will lay 3,800 stately wreaths.
Trunk’s mom, Gail, has seen the effect first-hand.
“The cemetery looks beautiful when the kids are done,” she said. “Everything looks so precise. The wreaths are a Balsam Fir, with a pine circle and a beautiful red bow—they’re understated and majestic.
“Every year, the word gets out better, but the cemetery keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. The woman there told me that it can do up to nine burials a day. That’s outstanding. I think, ‘how sad, how efficient and yet how happy, it’s such a beautiful place.’”
Trunk and her mother said they’ve received very special notes.
“We received a note from a man who had served,” said Gail. “His wife is buried there. He said it’s nice to have peace of mind knowing people like Tiffany will help take care of the cemetery.”
Trunk’s squadron collected 800 wreaths in 2009, 2,220 wreaths in 2010 and 3,800 this year.
Trunk and her mother both agreed that this is what the season is about—everybody’s worthy, they said.
A girl scout, interested in photography, involved in a total of seven orchestras, and marching band, Trunk said Civil Air Patrol—like all of her extra-curricular activities—are very important to her.
She is already collecting sponsorships for 2012, and will continue to collect year-round. Each wreath sponsorship is $15. If you’re interested, please call 724-942-3475.
Saturday’s event is open to the public.