State Presidents and Compatriots:
It is with great honor that I serve as the NSSAR Wreath Across America Central Region Vice Chairman. Since NSSAR got involved in the Wreaths Across America many years ago, the program has grown Exponentially and some state societies have become a major partner. Tens of thousands of wreaths are placed on veterans’ graves throughout the country and internationally usually placed on the graves the second Saturday of each December. This year is the exception. The National Wreaths Across America Remembrance Ceremony – December 15 2012; 12 Noon EST.
The Mission of the Wreaths Across America’s Program is to Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies a specified Saturday in December at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond that includes international veterans cemeteries. WAA also organizes a week of events including international veteran’s tributes, ceremonies at State Houses and a week-long "Veteran’s Parade" between Maine and Virginia where we stop along the way to spread our message about the importance of remembering our fallen heroes, honoring those who serve, and teaching our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms. This week of events is made possible by thousands of volunteers who organize local ceremonies, raise funds to sponsor wreaths, and participate in the events. We receive no government funding. The cost of our programs is paid by individual wreaths sponsors, corporate donors and volunteer truckers. We also coordinate veteran services and recognition through a variety of programs, and provide schools with teaching aides for projects throughout the year.
Just like the Marines are associated with Toys for Tots, CAP is beginning to get a reputation for its association with Wreaths Across America. This is a good thing. It puts our name in front of the public on a routine basis and ties us to a patriotic cause. Many groups have joined to support this endeavor including, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Civil Air Patrol Cadets, Young Marines, ROTC, Fraternities, Sororities, American Legion, American Legion Auxiliaries, Veterans of Foreign Wars, VFW Auxiliaries, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts participate.
Again this year, however, for the second time we are noticing a decline in State Societies and chapter participation. This is a trend we want to reverse while there is still time. I urge you to investigate how your State Society and chapters can be a part of this year’s Wreaths Across America program. The procedure is straightforward. SAR units register at the Wreaths Across America Web site, www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/fundraiser.html. State Societies and chapters take advance orders from individuals, companies and organizations. Those who purchase multiple wreaths can even designate from a list of participating cemetery sites where they wish their wreaths to be placed. Cost for the wreaths is $15 each,
$5 of which is returned to your State Society and chapters. Each state society and chapter can have their on individual ID
number and placed in the local paper so may be given for the program information. Invite them to participate placing the wreaths on the graves. All wreaths are shipped from the Worcester Wreath Co. in Maine, which originated the program in 1992 as the Arlington National Cemetery wreath project. Your State society and chapter provides the manpower, compatriots, to place the wreaths on Saturday, December 15, 2012.
This year, Wreaths Across America has heightened significance for SAR members as our organization honors the memory of the all the members that served from all the branches, who passed this past year. We might be placing wreaths on our own compatriots. The National Cemetery directors designate the areas of the graves that will honored if they do not have enough wreaths to blanket the National Cemetery. This is why we need your help. I recommend each state society have a Wreath Across America Chairman and one at each chapter.
Laying the wreaths is an honor to veterans, a service to your community and a learning experience for your members. It can also be a source of positive publicity for your SAR State Societies and chapters.
Please consider having your unit be a part of this worthwhile pursuit. This is a great tool to work with D.A.R., C.A.R., Youth groups, and SAR also many patriotic organizations American Legion Auxiliary, VFW & Auxiliary
For more information,
Compatriot Robert A. Bogardus, ORSSAR, Vice Chairman WAA (west) xchequer1aol [dot] com (xchequer1aol [dot] com)
Compatriot Major Walter Timoschuk III, MISSAR, Vice Chairman WAA (Central) wtimoschcomcast [dot] net (wtimoschcomcast [dot] net)
Compatriot Edwin L. Spray, HISSAR, Vice Chairman WAA (East) ElwinSpraygmail [dot] com (ElwinSpraygmail [dot] com)