Honoring Veteran grave sites during the holidays
VAntage Point Story by student interns Laura Tamayo and Michaela Yesis, with graphics designed by Alyssa Morford.
To honor and remember Veterans during the holiday season, the non-profit organization Wreaths Across America organizes the annual event of laying Christmas wreaths on Veteran’s graves. The event is held every December, on the second or third Saturday of the month. This year’s National Wreaths Across America Day takes place on Dec. 14, 2019.
Wreaths Across America’s annual escort to Arlington National Cemetery kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 7. National President of American Gold Star Mothers, Mona Gunn, will lead the caravan as this year’s Grand Marshal.
The escort will travel down the east coast, stopping at schools, memorials and other locations to REMEMBER, HONOR and TEACH. It will make stops in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington D.C. The escort’s final stop will be Arlington National Cemetery on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 14. To view the complete schedule, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/arlington-escort-information.
“Wreaths Across America provides opportunities for us to carry out our mission – finding strength in the fellowship of other Gold Star Mothers who strive to keep the memory of our sons and daughters alive,” said Mona Gunn, President of American Gold Star Mothers, and this year’s grand marshal. “[We’re] working to help Veterans, those currently serving, their families and our communities.”
Why lay wreaths?
Wreaths Across America understands that service members sacrifice their time and safety every single day of the year to preserve our freedoms. It can’t or won’t replace Veterans Day or Memorial Day. But during the holidays, in many homes, some families leave an empty seat for one who’s serving or one who’s made the ultimate sacrifice. There is no better time to express appreciation than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
How to Help
Wreaths Across America needs volunteers to make the mission a reality. Wreaths Across America needs volunteers who can lay wreaths on National Wreaths Across America Day, coordinate a ceremony or oversee a location. If you don’t currently have a Wreath Day location near you, Wreaths Across America will support you in becoming a Location Coordinator for a cemetery in your area. There is no cost to become a participating location or to host a ceremony.
For information on wreaths, volunteering or finding a nearby participating location, visit: https://wreathsacrossamerica.org/.
The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of the VA.