Like so many of you, I am looking ahead with excitement to the holidays and time spent with family. It seems this time of year even with all the extra work that comes with preparation, people rekindle a spirit of giving and community.
Here at WAA headquarters we are extremely busy, as are our volunteers nationwide! All over the country they are working hard for those needed sponsorships to honor their local veterans and putting final ceremony plans in place for the upcoming events. Even that anticipation of Wreaths Across America Day seems to unite us. However, it is not lost on us that many will suffer sadness as they gather this year, with a loved one missing from the celebration.
One of the lessons that I have learned on how to show support for those families during the holidays and year round came from my own grandson. Three years ago, Morrill and I were able to take Miles – then 10 – with us on the convoy to Arlington National Cemetery. Miles is what some would call an old soul, and has been a spokesperson for WAA for some time now. Earlier that year when our family had gathered for Thanksgiving, Miles asked if we could set a place at the table to remember all who were not able to be at home with their loved ones. When we took turns that year saying what we were thankful for Miles reminded us that we are free because of those who serve.
So on the convoy he issued a challenge that everyone set an empty place at their holiday table as a reminder of our Freedom, and its cost. To this day, an empty chair still sits at his family’s table as a daily reminder to never forget.
This Thanksgiving I hope some of you will join in on Miles’ challenge to set a place at your table and in your heart for those who serve and their families.
We can all make a difference by sharing with our children how important it is to be part of a community and country. Children learn from watching us but many times we can learn so much from them.
On Thursday, when we go around our table and say what we are grateful for, I will say that my family has been blessed to be part of the Wreaths Across America family and had the opportunity to meet so many proud, giving Americans and for that I am grateful.
“Children are one third of our population and all of our future.”
Remember. Honor. Teach.
REMEMBER. HONOR. TEACH.