GREENVILLE – Each year, millions of Americans – a third of whom are children – come together to REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those that serve and their families, and TEACH the next generation about the value of freedom. This gathering of individuals and communities takes place in local and national cemeteries in all 50 states as part of National Wreaths Across America Day. Locally, Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR will be coordinating Wreaths Across America at the Greenville Union Cemetery on Dec. 14 at noon. Each year, a new theme is chosen to help volunteers and supporters focus their messaging and outreach in their own communities. Today, the national nonprofit announces the theme for 2019 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. Last May, while in Washington D.C. for an event, Miles saw a U.S. Service member in uniform at the hotel where he was staying. As he always does, Miles 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.” Miles 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.”
The millions of volunteers and supporters – from schoolchildren and educators, professional truck drivers, first responders, veterans, Gold Star and Blue Star families, to corporations and other nonprofits – devote so much of themselves to the mission to Remember, Honor, Teach, in their own communities. Each of them, playing a part in helping to plan and participate in local events and fundraising activities, sponsor and transport wreaths, and raise awareness.
When asked how he feels to know so many people across the country come together each December to Remember, Honor and Teach, Miles said without hesitation, “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. It is always a free event and open to all people. For more information on Wreaths Across America, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.