Remember. Honor. Teach.

Brookhaven Veterans Association Launches Campaign for Wreaths Across America

A steady drizzle of rain didn’t deter members of the Brookhaven Veterans Association (BVA), Laboratory Protection Division, and the Lab community from gathering under the flagpole in the Berkner courtyard to honor and remember veterans at a Memorial Day ceremony last Friday.

“We want to pay our respects to those who gave the supreme sacrifice for our freedom,” said Joseph Sullivan, commander of the BVA. “Tolerating a bit of rain is the least we can do to show our appreciation for all they have done, and continue to do, for our country.”

The guest speaker at the ceremony was Michael Picerno, director of Calverton National Cemetery.  Picerno told the crowd that each morning as he drives through the gates of Calverton for work he is keenly reminded of the sacrifices made by veterans as well as their families. “It is up to us to remember our veterans, pay them deserved respect, and continue to teach our younger generation to do the same,” said Picerno. “I regularly visit the Veterans Administration hospital in Northport and I am continually amazed by the spirit, enthusiasm, and unwavering bravery of the young men and women who are there being treated for injuries after returning from active duty. I urge all of you to visit the hospital and spend a few minutes with these heroes.”

In line with its mission to support as many veteran activities as possible, the BVA has launched a campaign to participate in Wreaths Across America (WaA) to sponsor the placement of additional wreaths on the gravesites at nearby Calverton National Cemetery—the largest national cemetery in the country with over 250,000 graves.

At the conclusion of the Memorial Day ceremony, Laboratory Director Doon Gibbs and Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Davidson presented the BVA with a check for $1,500 on behalf of Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA), the company that manages the Lab, toward the purchase of wreaths.  

“It is an honor to be part of this ceremony today,” said Gibbs. “BSA is honored to help get this important campaign off to a good start. I thank the BVA for all of their efforts supporting our veterans locally and around the world.”

Over the next few weeks, members of the BVA will be in the lobby of Berkner during lunch time accepting donations. Although each wreath costs $15.00, any amount is appreciated.  

What is Wreaths Across America?

On a specified day each December (December 13 this year), wreaths are placed on the graves of soldiers interred in national cemeteries all across America. The national network of WaA volunteers has placed more than 540,000 wreaths at over 900 locations. The BVA is proud to support this effort and hopes to garner additional wreaths honoring local soldiers buried at Calverton National Cemetery. 

Information on how to donate to WaA at any time is on the BVA website. For more information on WaA, or to volunteer to lay wreaths at Calverton National Cemetery on December 13, please contact Don Farnam at Ext. 8248 or

2014-4918  |  INT/EXT  |  Newsroom