Amidst the sadness of Newtown, Connecticut, I felt honored to take part in the Wreaths Across America event this past Saturday. My daughter’s American Heritage Girl Group sold the wreaths as part of their fundraising effort and participated in the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony.
The importance of what Wreaths Across America does is best expressed this way:
Our mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies a specified Saturday in December at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. We also organize 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 we stop along the way to spread our message about the importance of remembering our fallen heroes, honoring those who serve, and teaching our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.
Hundreds and hundreds of people arrived at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday morning – all braving the very crowded Washington DC Metro system and bumper-to-bumper traffic. There were men and women in uniform, retired military, parents, families, clergy, Boys Scouts, and of course, the convoy of trucks carrying thousands of wreaths soon to be laid on the graves.
I talked to friends who were also fortunate to attend the ceremony and we all agreed it was powerful, moving, and inspirational. But I must say, the most beautiful picture was the sight of all of those wreaths lying in concert in front of the graves.
The wreaths will remain on the graves until the end of January when the process begins again with their removal. If you have the opportunity to visit a cemetery in your town, it is time spent you will not regret.
For more information: wreathsacrossamerica.org