All across the nation, American citizens expressed thanks to those who served in the military on Veterans Day. Veterans, both young and old, were given their day of love and reflection. Some, however, never live to experience that honor. That’s where Wreaths Across America comes in. When one sees the spectacular vision of graves with wreathes decorated in a festive and honoring fashion, it expresses a true sense of honor and gratitude.
What is Wreaths Across America?
Morris Worcester was the owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Maine. They specialized in delivering wreaths to people across the state. In 1992, however, a surplus of Christmas wreaths in the company’s storage created what would become a national phenomenon. Morris Worcester, who was from the Arlington area, remembered the snow on the ground in Arlington National Cemetery. He thought about what he could do for what he called his “home roots.”
That season, the Worcester Wreath Company sent Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery with the sole purpose to adorn the graves of those fallen. Since 1992, there are now 1,000 places that host Wreaths Across America.
In 2008, the U.S. Congress appropriately deemed December 13th as “Wreaths Across America Day.” This is what unarguably started the Wreaths Across America movement. Shortly after this day was consummated, the organization started shipping out wreaths on days other than the holidays. For bigger ceremonies, Wreaths Across America sent wreaths to commemorate those fallen and those who served. The many memorials that Wreaths Across America caters to include 9/11, Pearl Harbor, Valley Forge and Bunker Hill.
South Florida National Cemetery
It’s great that Wreaths Across America can go to all these different ceremonies, but there aren’t many ceremonies down here in South Florida. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs does operate a National Cemetery in Lake Worth.
Last year, David and Lyette Reback, along with their 15 children, helped place wreaths on the graves of those at the South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth, expressing some serious honor for those represented. “It is such a beautiful, somber, humbling, inspiring sight. Row upon row of graves marked with Christmas green and red. Each one a quiet thank you for a life well-lived of service in and to our nation,” said Lyette Reback.
The South Florida National Cemetery is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and has great reverence for those who died and chose to be buried in this place. They will adorn the cemetery with wreaths on December 12th.
And believe it or not, this is a special place to meet new friends. Many families seem to connect over their mutual honor and respect for the veterans, and this is a great place to show your love for them.
South Florida has recently started going with Wreaths Across America. Last year visitors to the cemetery got to see America’s heroes and loved ones adorned with beautiful wreaths to celebrate the holiday season, and to give them another honor throughout the year. It is really easy to get involved in this amazing opportunity to honor our veterans.
How Can I Get Involved?
Wreaths Across America needs more people to sponsor the wreaths and could use your help. In order to sponsor a wreath that will adorn a veteran’s grave you can go to the website WreathsAcrossAmerica.org. Wreaths are $15 each and each wreath goes straight to a grave that will honor a fallen veteran.
If sponsoring a wreath is not your thing, you can get involved in the “Thanks-A-Million” card program. A small shipping and handling charge is required in order to get these special cards. The charge is $5 per 100 cards, and the Wreath Across America encourages you to take these cards and give them out to the veterans who definitely need this in their life.
Each veteran deserves a thank you, and that is the personal mission that this organization has claimed. This Christmas season, Wreaths Across America challenges everyone who cares to hand out these cards to the veterans. There are 1,583,697 veterans in Florida, which makes it very possible for a million vets to be thanked.
Geoffrey Still is an intern with Good News, student editor of Calvary Christian Academy’s SOAR.ccaeagles.org and founder of the “Crusader Corner” at Coral Springs Christian Academy.