Honoring U.S. Veterans with Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America (WAA) carries out their mission of ‘Remember, Honor, Teach’ each year by devoting a week to remembering fallen soldiers, honoring those who serve and teaching about the sacrifices veterans and their families make to protect our country and our freedoms.
On Saturday, Dec. 13th, Administrative Assistant to TMC’s Safety Department, Jannelle Kennedy, had the opportunity to participate in one of many ceremonies organized by WAA in Adel, Iowa.
“It was an honor to be able to participate in the wreath laying ceremonies at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery last Saturday. Although I don’t personally know anyone interred at the cemetery, my appreciation of our military was heightened when my son, Drew, made the decision to serve in the Marine Corps.
The history of WAA is pretty amazing! It was started in 1992 when the Worchester Wreath Company had a surplus of wreaths near the end of the holiday season. The owner made arrangements for those wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery in one of the older sections that doesn’t receive many visitors. In 2005, a photo of the wreaths made its way around the internet and it became national news. Today, donations and volunteers drive the project. Wreaths were placed on more than 600,000 graves in 1,100 cemeteries in the U.S. and abroad last weekend alone.
It was such a simple gesture to lay the wreaths next to the tombstones, but to the family members of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, it symbolizes remembrance. It is important for them to know that their loved ones are remembered by a grateful nation. Each of the wreaths bear a tag: “Today, I placed a wreath on the grave of an American hero.” Trust me; I’ll be hugging mine a little tighter next time I get to see him!”
WAA events are made possible by thousands of volunteers and participants who take the time to organize local events and fund raise to sponsor the wreaths, as well as hundreds of truck drivers who assist in transporting the wreaths.
To learn more about Wreaths Across America and how you can donate or get involved, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.