Each year on National Wreaths Across America Day, millions of Americans, a third of whom are, come together to remember the fallen, honor those that serve and their families, and teach the next generation about the value of freedom. Each year, a new theme is chosen by the national organization to help local volunteers, and supporters focus their messaging and outreach in our communities. This year, the theme is “everyone plays a part.”
The inspiration for this year’s theme was a recommendation made by 10-year-old “Mighty” Miles Worcester, the grandson of the founders of Wreaths Across America, Morrill and Karen Worcester. Last May, while in Washington D.C. for an event, Worchester saw a U.S. service member in uniform at the hotel where he was staying.
Worchester walked up to the gentleman, reached out to shake his hand, and thanked him for his service. And his response was simple and impactful: “Thank you, everyone plays a part.”
Worchester went directly to his grandmother, WAA Executive Director Karen Worcester, to tell her that he believed this statement would be the perfect theme because, as he said, “Those serving in the military are doing their part, but it is our part as Americans to remember and honor them. And that’s what Wreaths Across America does.”
When asked how he feels to know so many people across the country come together each December to remember, honor and teach, Worchester said, “It makes me feel proud to be an American.”
In 2018, nearly 1.8 million veteran wreaths were placed on headstones at 1,640 participating cemeteries around the country in honor of the service and sacrifices made for our freedoms, with each name said out loud.
This year, National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, Dec. 14, at Sunset Memory Garden Funeral Home and Cemetery. It is a free event and open to all people. For more information on how to volunteer locally or sponsor a wreath for a hero, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.