MOROCCO — Shriners International are a brotherhood of men committed to family, engaged in ongoing personal growth, and dedicated to providing care for children and families in need. Their backgrounds are diverse, but they are bound together by shared values and a desire to have fun, do good and build relationships that can last a lifetime.
The Orak Shriners in Michigan City has several clubs or units that promote the Shrine message and purpose. One such club is the Legion of Honor whose membership is made up of Orak Shriners that are veterans. The Legion of Honor has partnered with Wreaths Across America to remember passed veterans at Christmas time.
In 2019, the Legion of Honor facilitated the laying of more than 200 wreaths in Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso. Illustrious Sir Larry Dowty (Past Potentate of Orak Shrine) is initiating this activity in Newton County by placing a wreath at his father’s grave at Oakland Cemetery in Morocco.
TSGT Bernard P. Dowty served in the US Air Force in World War II and died Dec. 21, 1968. Sergeant Dowty was honored Dec. 21 with the placing of the ceremonial wreath on his grave by his son and was the first to be so honored at Oakland Cemetery.
Larry Dowty has agreed to be the liaison with the Legion of Honor so that next year many other people of Newton County may honor the passed veterans of their family in 2020 and for years to come.
“This is something that is available to all veterans and it is at an affordable price, just $15 a wreath,” said Dowty. “If we have a large enough response in Newton County a ceremony can come down to at least one cemetery here in Newton County. I would love to see 200 wreaths in Newton County next year. All the veterans deserve this.”
Wreaths Across America
Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 2,100 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.
National Wreaths Across America Day will be December 19, 2020.