The mission to honor those who serve and their families is important to Wayne on a deeply personal level. As a Vietnam Veteran, Wayne recalls there was no "welcome home" and the disrespectful treatment returning soldiers received was disheartening. Read more about WAA's Chairman of the Board and his commitment to WAA here.
Traveling from eastern Maine to Virginia, the convoy of escort vehicles and tractor-trailer rigs filled with balsam fir remembrance wreaths often stretched for miles as it rolled down the highway stopping at schools, American Legion posts, and other community centers. Citizens lined the streets and overpasses waving flags, holding signs, and shouting "thank you" or rhythmically chanting "USA, USA, USA!" See excerpts from the West Point Sunrise Ceremony here.
Wreaths Across America thanks you for an extraordinary year and challenges you to extend our mission to remember, honor, and teach into 2017. See this "special request" video.
American Military University, with our strong military heritage, has proudly supported Wreaths Across America since 2011 and has again donated 1,000 wreaths for Arlington National Cemetery this year.
"If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten"~Kipling
At Wreaths Across America, we know every stone tells a story and our mission to remember, honor, and teach will come to life on National Wreaths Across America Day Saturday, December 17, 2016. Join us for our Inaugural Living History Project.
For years, American Gold Star Mothers has played a crucial support role for thousands of families across this country,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA. “This official partnership is truly an honor for me, and I’m eager to start our work together. Our combined efforts will no doubt help to shape and inform the next generation of patriots."
One site recently dedicated is for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and trees in that section of the tip land can be selected and tagged for officers who have been killed in the line of duty or who died while serving.
"Throughout my recovery, I have had amazing experiences I can't explain that have helped me realize with each of my losses I have grown stronger and empowered," Smith said. "It's like the balsam fir tree that has some of its limbs removed in the tipping process to make remembrance wreaths. The tree isn't destroyed in the pruning process; it manages to thrive, flourish, and give back."
"I got to tell Tanner's story and to share that for Patti meant more to me than the whole time I've done these ceremonies. At that point, I really and truly understood the importance of the ceremony for a family who has lost someone. Our children need to be taught to understand what these families have given up."