Boardman student honors veterans this holiday
By Ashley Luthern
Thousands of drivers on U.S. Route 224 will pass Tanglewood Drive today without noticing it.
Maybe they’re out shopping or going to a restaurant. But if they were to turn onto Tanglewood, just east of Southern Boulevard, they would find Boardman Cemetery, where 87 veterans, including one from the Revolutionary War, are laid to rest.
Max Morrow, a Boardman High School junior, wants to make sure those veterans and their service aren’t forgotten this holiday season. So today at noon, he and other volunteers will place wreaths at veterans’ graves there.
“It’s a nice thing for the community and it feels good that you’re showing support for veterans,” Max said.
The project is part of Wreaths Across America, a national initiative founded by the Worcester Wreath Co. in Maine that honors veterans by placing fresh wreaths on the headstones of veterans.
The wreaths are considered a living tribute to be renewed annually, according to the organization’s website.
Max came across the project while doing some reading and organized a spaghetti dinner at his church to fund the purchase of the wreaths, which are delivered from Maine for free by trucking companies.
He chose Boardman Cemetery because he calls the township home and his grandfather, Clifford Thompson who served in the Army, is buried there.
Max’s personal connection with veterans continues with his paternal grandfather, Max A. Morrow who was a World War II veteran of the D-Day invasion, and father, Pat Morrow, an Army veteran.
Pat Morrow helped his son mark veterans’ graves with American flags Friday afternoon to make them easier to see during today’s wreath ceremony.
“I’m happy that he’s doing this,” he said. “I’m an Army vet and a history nut like Max. We’ve gone to Washington, D.C., six or seven times, including visits to Arlington [National Cemetery] and he’s really into it, and he wanted to do this.”
For Max, the decision to undertake the project was based on his value of public service.
“It’s really important to give back when the community has given a lot to you,” he said.