Editor's Note: Victoria Finley is the director of the Sarasota Military Academy Foundation. Sarasota Military Academy and Wreaths Across America are partners in the Legacy of Valor campaign honoring veterans throughout Southwest Florida.
Wreaths Across America aims to remember, honor and teach. Each year, Sarasota Military Academy and veterans organizations offer remembrance wreath sponsorships to cover the grave sites at Sarasota National Cemetery. This year, it is part of The Patterson Foundation's Legacy of Valor campaign.
Honoring America's veterans inspires patriotism and commitment. We remind ourselves as a people of the integrity of the freedom won and protected on our behalf.
The responsibility to teach our young people comes with our own willingness to do good and pay it forward. We teach the value of volunteerism. If we ever fail to teach, we will fail to have a future of hope. Without teaching, the principles and efforts of those who served will disappear. That would be a great loss.
Remembrance wreaths, therefore, are not to symbolize one religion above another; they are placed to remind us that we have the freedom to choose what religion we wish to have, or not. Above all, a red bow on the wreath perfectly reflects our veterans' service. Red symbolizes courage, determination and love. What better way to accent an evergreen memorial.
In life, our veterans honored and served our country; in death, we as Americans honor and remember them. A remembrance wreath laid at the Sarasota National Cemetery does not "decorate" a grave site. Rather, it honors and remembers service and sacrifice of veterans and their families.
Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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