Wreaths Across America remembers veterans' sacrifices

Wreaths Across America remembers veterans' sacrifices

Posted on December 17, 2013 by Linda Gould, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

The Wreaths Across America ceremony took place on Dec. 14 in every state across this great country, as it has each year since 2007.  On the second Saturday of December, remembrance wreaths are placed on gravesites at each of our National Cemeteries to honor and remember our heroes who have passed.

It is a time to pause and reflect upon the lives of so many who have gone before us, ensuring we are free to live, love and prosper. This is not just something we talk about, this is personal for so many of us. My father was a three-war veteran, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  He was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in 2001.  It is comforting to know that while I cannot be there to visit his grave this month, he is remembered and honored with a wreath that was placed upon his burial site.

The grandparents of Alicia Chalmers, also a Legacy of Valor Coordinator, are buried at Sarasota National Cemetery. Alicia was able to lay a wreath at their headstone this past Saturday.  Her grandfather served in World War II and Korea. Our family members may be gone, but they are remembered and honored for their service and their sacrifice.

Since the opening of Sarasota National Cemetery in 2009, the number of veterans and their families buried there have increased by approximately 1,000 – 1,500 a year.  Some have passed away, others were brought from other cemeteries to come “home” to our region.  This year, there was an outpouring of support from our community as more than 6,500 wreaths were sponsored and over 1,000 people came out to help lay those wreaths at the gravesites of our heroes.

Although more community partners are participating in the Wreaths Across America program in our region each year, the number of gravesites will continue to increase.  It is important for the community to continue to organize and partner for this effort each year, throughout the year, to ensure that no veteran or family member buried at Sarasota National Cemetery is ever forgotten.

The wreath placed each year symbolizes that we do remember them and that we honor them, every day.  Get Involved.  Visit FreedomPassItOn.org.

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