A Message from our Chairman of the Board of Directors, Wayne Hanson

February 22nd was the birthday of our first President George Washington.  Since Morrill and Karen Worcester were here attending meetings and visiting family and friends, they thought it would be nice to visit Washington’s home at Mount Vernon and take a tour of the grounds.  So with my wife Ann, Karen and Morrill, we loaded up the Wreaths Across America wrapped Chevy vehicle and headed off to Mount Vernon, even though it was supposed to rain.

A slight shower soaked the area for a few minutes, but upon arriving at Mount Vernon the rain ceased.  We carried the umbrellas, just in case!  Being that it was Washington’s birthday, the normal visitor’s admission fee was waived for the day. There were lots of teachers and school children taking advantage of free entry to learn more about President Washington.  We hoped to do the same, and we did. However, I don’t want this message to be about reliving our history.  Rather, it is about how this important person, farmer, statesman, president and veteran, yes, VETERAN, has been overlooked by Wreaths Across America.

As we walked about the gardens and entered the various outbuildings located on the grounds, we happened upon a President Washington reenactor and spoke briefly with him.  In the museum and education center, we learned of Washington’s early life, gazed upon his actual dentures (not actually made of wood, but made from ivory, human and animal teeth).  We learned about Washington’s military service during our country’s quest for independence while watching a movie where we actually had snow falling on us within the theater. While touring the Mount Vernon Mansion itself, we saw actual items used by Washington, even the bed where he died on December 14, 1799, due to a severe throat infection.

We eventually made our way across the grounds to the path leading up to Washington’s Tomb where both President Washington and his wife Martha are buried.  As we approached, Morrill and I began to realize that here laid the body of a very important veteran that we had apparently overlooked for the past 26 years in our annual wreath placement.  How could we have forgotten such an important person and veteran in our country’s history?

I am now on a quest to work with the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association,  the group that owns and operates the Mount Vernon estate, to work with them or to locate a group willing to see that on December 15, 2018, President and Veteran George Washington will be Remembered and Honored with a WAA Veterans' Wreath.

It’s not what we do, it’s why we do it!

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