Next Saturday, December 16, volunteers from across WNY will gather at Lakeside Cemetery to lay wreaths at the graves of U.S. military veterans in the Field of Valor section at each cemetery. It’s all part of a national program called Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester in 1992.
The organization’s yearlong mission – REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those that serve, TEACH the next generation the value of freedom – is carried out, in part, each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at thousands of participating locations in all 50 states and beyond. Here’s a brief video that provides an overview of the Wreaths Across America program: Wreaths Across America
Since 2008, Congress proclaims a Saturday in December as National Wreaths Across America Day. Some statistics about last year’s national program…
- 2.7 million veterans’ wreaths were placed in total across the country.
- More than two million volunteers participated at 3,702 locations nationwide. More than a third of the volunteers were children.
At Arlington National Cemetery specifically, 68 tractor trailers delivered over 257,000 veterans’ wreaths that were placed by nearly 28,000 volunteers.
- 644 loads of wreaths were delivered across the country by hundreds of volunteer, professional truck drivers driving donated equipment and fuel from approximately 296 transportation partners
This year’s Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, Dec. 16. And we’re honored that a local veterans organization, Whirlwind Veterans and Warrior Retreat has once again selected St. Matthew’s Cemetery and Lakeside Cemetery (as well as two other local cemeteries) as Western New York’s Wreaths Across America sites.
We encourage all who are interested to attend either the St. Matthews or Lakeside event—or both—to show your support and to pitch in with the wreath placement. It’s a wonderful way to REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those who serve and TEACH the next generation the value of freedom!