– Those who have Fallen
– Those who have Served
– Our Children the Value of Freedom
The theme for 2016 is, “Say Their Names” A person dies twice: once when they take their final breath, and later, the last time their name is spoken.
When we lay wreaths on veterans’ graves, we say their names.
We encourage every volunteer who places a wreath on a veteran’s grave to say that veteran’s name aloud and take a moment to thank them for their service to our country. It’s a small act that goes a long way toward keeping the memory of our veterans alive.
We are not here to “decorate graves.” We’re here to remember not their deaths, but their lives.
—Karen Worcester, Executive Director of Wreaths Across America
Our mission is to once again place a wreath upon every headstone at our Jacksonville National Cemetery. Currently our early estimate is for 8300 wreaths. As the deadline for sponsorships draws near (late November) the total needed will be updated. We know the Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia communities will get us to that goal of Remembering everyone laid to rest upon these hallowed grounds.
Wreaths Across America’s Early Education Programs
Wreaths Across America™ believes it is important to teach everyone about the value of freedom, even our youngest citizens. Making time to pass along the stories and memories of heroism and sacrifice to young people will help make an important connection between the greatest generation and the next generation.
American History Wreaths Across America Unit
This is an ongoing unit of study designed to have students develop a better understanding of the importance of Veterans inAmerica’s history. Wreaths Across America (WAA) believes there are many teachable moments created when young people and veterans can talk to each other.
The Parade of Purpose introducing Daisy Dog who shares the story of Wreaths being carried to Arlington National Cemetery and those that WAA honors. This is a great way to introduce little ones to the Mission-Remember-Honor and Teach.
Remembrance Tree Program
The Veterans Remembrance Tree Program was established as another way to remember and honor our veterans. As Gold Star families visited the land where the balsam tips are harvested each year for the wreaths that are placed on veteran’s graves, they found a sense of peace and tranquility form the land. WAA established a program to give them a living memorial to their lost loved ones.
Each family can contact WAA and give information on their loved on. Due to the overwhelming support of this program, WAA has purchased its own dog-tag machine, allowing the families of the veteran the ability to customize their message for the tag. The family is taken out to the balsam tip land to find a tree that will become their living memorial to their loved one. The dog-tag is then placed on the trunk of an evergreen tree of their choosing. A red, white, and blue ribbon is placed on the tree to show that it has been chosen as a memorial. The trees are kept in production and are tipped every three years; those balsam tips are then used to make the veteran’s wreaths that are placed each December.
This program is open to all families who have had a loved one in the military. For more information, please call: 1-877-385-9504
“The tradition of laying wreaths to honor our veterans during the holiday season began in 1992, when Morrill Worcester of Worcester Wreath Company (Harrington, Maine) was stuck with a number of extra wreaths at the close of the holiday season…”
Download the brochure for more: Teach Brochure