For The Daily Item
On Dec. 8, at 2:15 p.m., Sunbury Wreaths for Warriors volunteers had a ceremony at the east end of Cameron Park to place wreaths at the monuments and proceeded to local city and rural cemeteries to place wreaths on veterans’ graves. Previous to the ceremony, there was a CNN truck parked in front of The Daily Item office on Market Street. During my conversation with a reporter from the CNN team as to why they were there, I asked if they would cover our ceremony. Their reply was “we are here
to do a live report on the murder in Sunbury” starting at 2 p.m. Two Daily Item reporters were frequently in and out of The Daily Item office communicating with the CNN team. I informed them
that it will become quite noisy around the park when our local fire and police departments lead our parade from the Marina Park to Cameron Park for the wreath ceremony. Their reply was “could you please wait until 2:20 p.m. when our live feed is finished?” I said we would try not to interrupt them.
At 1:45 p.m., approximately 60 volunteers including Cub Scouts, Shikellamy ROTC, Sunbury Fire and
City Police, Sunbury Fire Department, PA Police, Northumberland Fire and City Police, Northumberland Fire Department, committee members, and interested veterans started at the Marina on Island Park with a blessing of the wreaths. Then the police and fire vehicles escorted the parade of volunteers and vehicles to Cameron Park with full sirens in celebration. We circled the park, passing the CNN truck in front of The Daily Item, to the east end where the ceremony took place with approximately 70 to 80 volunteers and spectators participating. After a brief statement of appreciation and
recognition, a volley was fired and followed by TAPS performed by the American Legion Post 201 SAL. Not one reporter was present nor inquired about the event. After the ceremony was finished, Sunbury Police, Pennsylvania State Police, and the Sunbury Fire trucks escorted the designated vehicles to
two city cemeteries while other teams traveled during the snow storm to 12 rural cemeteries to place the wreaths.
The Wreaths for Warriors committee would like to thank all the professional and public volunteers who participated and all of the individuals, businesses, clubs, and organizations who generously
donated funds to allow this event to materialize.
Despite previous knowledge by The Daily Item of this “first time event” in Sunbury, and despite notification again after the event by Robert Zimmerman Jr., there was absolutely no coverage of our ceremony honoring our local veterans.
Van Shipe Past Commander of American
Legion Post 201, Robert Zimmerman
Jr., Dick Simpson, and John Deppen
— Wreaths for Warriors committee