National Wreaths Across America Day Saturday December 14, 2013
National Wreaths Across America Day
Saturday December 14, 2013
Wreaths Across America needs your help to reach their goal of placing 500,000 holiday wreaths on soldiers graves across America.
Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester, in 1992.
In 2008 over 300 locations held wreath laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 overseas cemeteries. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves. Over 60,000 volunteers participated. In 2008, the U.S. Congress unanimously voted December 13th as “Wreaths Across America Day”. By 2010, a national network of nearly 1,000 volunteers laid over 220,000 memorial wreaths at 545 locations in the United States and beyond. Ceremonies were held at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites of the September 11th tragedies.
Their Wreaths Across America mission is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies on a specified Saturday in December at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. This year’s wreath laying event is designated for December 15th.
The organization also organizes a week of events including international veteran’s tributes, ceremonies at State Houses and a week-long “Veteran’s Parade” between Maine and Virginia where stops will be made along the way to spread the message about the importance of remembering fallen heroes, honoring those who serve, and teaching children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.
The organization receives no government funding. The cost of our programs is paid by individual wreaths sponsors, corporate donors and volunteer truckers who transport the wreaths to participating cemeteries. Thousands of volunteers also support the cause by organizing local ceremonies, raising funds to purchase wreaths and by participating in the events.
As location leader you will be responsible for communicating with headquarters for planning and delivery logistics, and with the cemetery’s director to coordinate the location’s wreath laying ceremony. You will need to coordinate with any fundraising groups that sign up to sponsor wreaths for your location and include them in the wreath laying and the ceremony. Organizing the ceremony is also the responsibility of the location leader, as well as clean up of the wreaths after a reasonable amount of time or the time designated by the cemetery.
You can also raise funds for a local or national wreath placing event.
Finally, you and your family or business can volunteer to assist at one of 750 designated 2012 Wreaths Across America events. Individuals are needed for set-up, promotions, wreath laying, clean-up. Trucking companies are needed to help transport the wreaths.