Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Wreaths Across America & Luminaria Memorial Events to Remember those not here at the Holidays

Peekskill Honors those who have passed away at two memorial events set for December 9th
Wreath laying event 2022 Photo Courtesy of the Rotary Club of Peekskill

Wreaths Across America

On Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 12:00 p.m., the Peekskill American Legion Post 274 invites all to attend a ceremony at the Assumption Cemetery on Oregon Road in Cortlandt Manor, to honor those killed in action as well as other local veterans for the holiday season. Starting at 9 a.m., wreaths will be placed on the headstones throughout the cemetery of those who served in the Armed Forces. This annual event honors veterans and advances the Wreaths Across America mission to “Remember the fallen. Honor those who serve. Teach the next generation the value of freedom. To ensure that the memory of those who served our nation along with their deeds and sacrifices endures.” The purpose of the program is to make sure that “No matter where they served or how, Wreaths Across America strives to ensure that no one is forgotten.” And that is the tradition that Peekskill American Legion Post Commander John Donohue holds dear to his heart.

Peekskill Today - David Carbone

The Peekskill American Legion Post 274, and a host of volunteers will walk through all four local cemeteries along Oregon Road in Cortlandt placing holiday wreaths on the graves of over 1,300 men and women who served in almost every single war since the Revolution. Tim Warn of the American Legion says, “the Peekskill American Legion Post 274 maintains a list of every veteran in the local area who is interred at four cemeteries: Assumption Cemetery, Hillside Cemetery, The Old Cemetery at Van Cortlandtville, and the First Hebrew Cemetery. We want to thank them for their Service and Sacrifice.” John Donohue explains, “there are over 3,000 graves at between the four cemeteries in Cortlandt and we were able to raise enough money to get 1,300 wreathes. We were able to raise enough money for Memorial Day to buy and place over 2,600 American Flags. We would love to have every grave sites and Veteran to be honored with a Wreath but don’t have the funds. We will honor all of them by reading the names out loud of all 3,000 Veterans who are interred.” He further explains, “some of the grave sites no one has been there in years for whatever reason, the family is no longer around, moved away or whatever else.” That is what makes this program so special. The Fallen are Not Forgotten. The cemeteries combined have Veterans from almost every war in American history including the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the those who have perished since.

Click image for Wreaths Across America video from Peekskill Today. Tim Warn of the Peekskill American Legion Post 274

If you would like to donate to this worthy project or help the American Legion lay wreaths on the graves of those who served in the Armed Forces on December 9th, contact the American Legion Post 274 Commander John Donohue via email at [email protected] or write them with your donation to the American Legion Post 274 P.O. Box 21, Peekskill, NY 10566 making it out the Wreaths Across America program.


Luminaria Memorial

Photo courtesy of Dorsey-Carlone Funeral Home

For the third year in a row, the Dorsey-Carlone Funeral Home will hold a Luminaria Memorial on December 4, 2023 from 4-6pm. A Luminaria Memorial is a remembrance service for families who the funeral home served throughout the past two years. It has grown over the years and now includes the entire community and anyone who wishes to participate to honor and remember loved ones. It was during the covid pandemic, and winter of 2020, when no one could join together for funerals that the idea sparked for Funeral Director Stephanie Carlone. “What if we could remember and honor those who have passed using luminaries to remember them? ” Carlone says, “It was completely outdoors and people could walk around or drive by, find their person’s luminaria and be able to reflect.” The Luminaria Memorial event has extended out to the wider community for anyone who is looking for support and every year it evolves a little more. Carlone says, “this year we’ve expanded to having the building open, have small refreshments, and have a reflection at 4:30 pm led by Rev. Margery Rossi, a Presbyterian minister and local Peekskill resident.” 


Attendees can make their own luminaria that day or just visit and view the luminarias that are displayed. One luminaria (lit by led, not candles) for each person they served will be placed on the grounds. As each family exits, they will receive an ornament to take home for their tree. After the service, families can walk around and spend time to reflect and remember as they view all of the luminarias.  

This event hosted by the Dorsey-Carlone Funeral Home is free of charge. As Stephanie Carlone states, “we do it simply because it is something we believe in:  helping grieving people at a difficult time of year.”  An RSVP isn’t necessary, it just helps in planning the event. Anyone can call the funeral home at 914-737-0848, emailing them at [email protected] or  commenting on the Dorsey-Carlone Funeral Home facebook page.


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About the Contributor
As a Peekskill native, Dave is thrilled to be working with the Peekskill Herald showcasing featured calendar events. A 1999 graduate of PHS, he remembers reading and enjoying the original weekly print edition of the Peekskill Herald every Thursday. He especially liked the political stories, local features and sports coverage when it was written by Peekskill Runner columnist Jack Burns who always managed to weave history into the running times. An avid hiker, he enjoys exploring the local trails as well as the concrete ones in his job as a conductor for Metro North Railroad. He’s a former teacher and co-founder of the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, where he frequently can be found with his Koda. He’s happy to be part of the Herald’s growth as the source of local news for Peekskill and looks forward to highlighting a few of many of the events and happenings in Peekskill and the surrounding communities. Reach Dave at [email protected]