Every year I am touched by the photos of the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. I assumed it was supported and paid for by us through taxpayer’s dollars. It turns out that ceremony is provided by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nonprofit organization called Wreaths Across America™ (WAA). It was founded by a Maine businessman named Morrill Worcester in 1992 with a mission to – Remember, Honor – Teach.
The volunteer organization does that by coordinating holiday wreath-laying ceremonies that take place in December at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as hundreds of other veterans’ cemeteries located in all 50 states (and beyond). They’re also the kind folks who lay wreaths on veteran’s graves for the holidays in remembrance.
Wreaths Across America: Arlington National Cemetery 150th Anniversary
This is the 150th anniversary of the Arlington National Cemetery as well as the 23rd year of the event, so Wreaths Across America is asking us to help them create a memorable event. Their goal is to put a wreath on the grave of every veteran buried in the National Cemetery, that’s 230,000 graves in total, and 35% more than they were able to complete last year when 87,000 graves were left bare.
“In past years, when placing the last wreath, we’ve seen bare markers and we’re reminded of the veterans who sacrificed so much for their country who are not being recognized,” said Wayne Hanson, WAA chairman. “With an all-volunteer staff and no government funding, we are asking every American to do their part to honor our nation’s heroes.” To accomplish this goal of covering each headstone at Arlington National, WAA needs to secure nearly$3.5 million in wreath sponsorships. Each sponsored wreath costs $15.
National Wreaths Across American Day – December 13, 2014
WAA places thousands of veteran wreaths during the holiday. This year, on National Wreaths Across America Day — Sat., Dec. 13, 2014 – an estimated total of 725,000 wreaths will be placed across the country.
“We want to get the word out that we need help to accomplish this important goal,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “Each and every wreath is a gift from an appreciative person or family who knows what it means to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy, fulfilling our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.”
Your $15 gift honors a fallen hero with a wreath on his or her grave.You choose if you’d like to sponsor a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery or sponsor a local grave site. You may also donate in memory of, or in honor of, someone you care about. The recipient (or their loved one) will be notified of your donation with your choice of an e-card or a mailed card.
Can you help honor our nation’s heroes?
Connect with Wreaths Across America
For more information, to donate or to sign up to volunteer, please visit wreathsacrossamerica.org.
SOURCE Wreaths Across America