Tag Archives: Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

Memorial Day Flowers welcomes new Board members

A newsletter from a fellow veterans organization.


Memorial Day Flowers Foundation Welcomes New Members to the Board of Directors

The last twelve months have been the most challenging since we started in 2011.  We understand that during these unprecedented times, it is important to adapt, and we made changes to our Memorial Day practices to ensure the safety of all participants.
Among the changes over the past year, the one we are happiest about is welcoming three new board members, whose combined experience will greatly aid our mission of honoring every hero with a flower.

David Murphy

Regional Financial Services Executive

David brings over 30 years’ experience focusing on wealth advisory. Additionally, he is a retired Special Forces Colonel with service in Afghanistan and other locations throughout the world. Currently, two of his three children are serving in the military. David is a native of Connecticut and currently resides in Charlestown Massachusetts. David has been an active volunteer with the Foundation for the last six years.

Steve Dionne

Executive Director of CalFlowers Association

Steve has worked in the floral industry for the past 27 years, engaged in both domestic and international trade.  Steve has been an active supporter of the mission of the foundation since 2015 and has rallied the California growers to be a part of this tribute. Steve is involved in the California Autism community as a writer and speaker.

Ivor Van Wingerden

Operations Manager – Ocean Breeze Farms

Ivor manages Ocean Breeze Farms San Luis Obispo County operations as a grower of flowers and Hass avocados. Ivor graduated from UC Berkeley in 2005 with a B.S. in Business Administration and is also a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program. He lives in Arroyo Grande with his wife and three daughters.

Get to know all of our board members at
About the Foundation
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Family Tribute Boxes
Contact us by email to learn about other sponsorship opportunities: info@memorialdayflowers.org
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Copyright © 2021 Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in either through our website, when you volunteered, or when you made a donation.

Our mailing address is:

Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

781 Beach St Ste 302

San Francisco, CA 94109-1245

Plans for Memorial Day 2021

This national organization may be of interest to some members.


Plans for Memorial Day 2021

The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation plans to place flower tributes at Arlington National Cemetery in a safe and socially-distanced manner for Memorial Day in 2021. We encourage our network of volunteers, partners, and supporters to honor our fallen military and late veterans in their local communities with flowers.

Family Tribute Boxes

Our Family Tribute Boxes allow families and small groups to create their own Memorial Day tradition by placing flowers at veteran’s graves in their local cemeteries.
Choose one of these box sizes of farm-fresh roses for your Memorial Day tribute:

  • 50 for individuals and couples
  • 125 for a small family
  • 250 for small groups and organizations

This is a wonderful way to spend time outside and teach your children patriotism and help us to bring back the original meaning of Memorial Day.

Family Tribute Boxes

Retail Program

The Retail Program was designed for small, locally-owned businesses. Business owners order a flower kit with 125 roses, which they distribute to customers Memorial Day weekend. Their customers then place these roses on military gravesites or give them to veterans. Some businesses prefer to visit the cemetery to place flowers personally.

Retail Program

All orders should be placed before May 12,2021.

With any order, the California Grower Association matches your effort and places 25 flowers to place at Arlington National Cemetery.

We continue to press forward to bring back the original meaning of Memorial Day through encouraging all Americans to place flowers at military gravesites over the Memorial Day weekend. We also encourage you to speak with Gold Star Families and to learn about their loved ones who have sacrificed so much for our country. Thank you for all of your support.

Volunteer Spotlight: Patti Plaza

I’ve been a supporter of the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation since the first year they launched. Every year I tell as many people as possible about them because the experience of laying flowers at the graves of soldiers laid to rest at the Arlington National Cemetery is unequaled. Each year we place flowers and say a prayer at the resting sites of hundreds of soldiers, as well as those of my stepdad, who was a World War II D-Day pilot. We also place flowers at the sites of fathers of friends who can’t be there in person. The Gold Star Family bouquets and the roses we receive at no cost are colorful and exceptionally beautiful. The organizers of the Memorial Day event in particular are incredibly dedicated and committed to making the experience of laying flowers a memorable one. They are fantastically well organized. They run an efficient system for distributing bucketsful of roses, and even during the pandemic seamlessly adjusted to make the process safe. The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation gives us an opportunity to recognize, thank and honor the men and women who gave their lives to protecting our great country. There can be no greater act of service than that. It’s an honor to participate and support the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation.

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Copyright © 2021 Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in either through our website, when you volunteered, or when you made a donation.

Our mailing address is:

Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

781 Beach St Ste 302

San Francisco, CA 94109-1245

Order Valentine Flowers and Support the Foundation

For individuals who might want to support this activity At Arlington National Cemetery.


Get Beautiful Roses for Valentine’s Day & Support the Foundation

The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation has partnered with Thrive With Flowers for the Family Tribute Program.

You can order a box of roses for Valentine’s Day (or another special day) any time of the year. You can order boxes with 50, 125 or 250 roses. Distribute your roses to friends and family, or take them to an area nursing home, hospital or veteran’s home (call ahead to find out procedures for donating flowers).

Orders for delivery in time for Valentine’s Day need to be placed by Monday, February 8, 2021.

Your purchase now can support our work to honor our fallen troops for Memorial Day in 2021. Five percent of all tribute box sales will support flowers being placed at Arlington National Cemetery over Memorial Day Weekend in 2021.

Your family and friends will enjoy these beautiful roses and you’ll know that your purchase supports our work to honor our fallen for Memorial Day.

You can visit the following link to order a box: https://www.memorialdayflowers.org/family-tribute-program/

What’s Your Story?

Many people enjoy volunteering with the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation and we would love to hear your stories. Sharing a story is easy – just answer a few questions and email your answers to ami@steppingstoneLLC.com. Submitted stories may be shared on our website, social channels, or in our enewsletter. If you have a photo or video of yourself volunteering or to accompany your story, please include it as an attachment.

Name:
Email address:
When did you volunteer?
Where did you volunteer?
What did it mean to you to volunteer?
Why do you think it is important to honor our fallen troops and veterans for Memorial Day?
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your experience?

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Copyright © 2021 Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in either through our website, when you volunteered, or when you made a donation.

Our mailing address is:

Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

781 Beach St Ste 302

San Francisco, CA 94109-1245

Memorial Day Flowers in the New Year

An item that may be of interest to some of our members.


It’s the beginning of the New Year and the end of a most challenging 2020. All of us who work with The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation hope you have had a warm holiday with your loved ones whether in person or on screens.

Through the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve still worked to honor our fallen troops and veterans with flowers for 2020 Memorial Day. This last year we couldn’t hold large events, so instead we gave out flowers in a distanced way at Arlington National Cemetery to Gold Star Families as they entered the cemetery to visit the gravesites of their loved ones.

One Gold Star sister wrote to us, “It means so much to know that someone is coming to honor my brother with a flower for Memorial Day. Sometimes it feels like so many people have forgotten him. Thanks to you, I know someone will be there to remember his service and sacrifice for our country.”

Many of the families who inter their loved ones at Arlington National Cemetery live far away and are not able to visit in person often. For 2021 our volunteers will make sure that every request for a gravesite flower placement will be honored by one of our volunteers. Please send us your requests at https://www.memorialdayflowers.org/flower-placement-program/

Grief and loss does not end because of a pandemic. The mission to honor the people who have served and died for this country does not end either. That mission is still important. I hope you will join us to honor our fallen troops and veterans in some way this next year. How we observe Memorial Day may need to adjust some, but Memorial Day will still arrive in May this year.

I wish you a healthy and joyous New Year in 2021.

With kind regards,

Ramiro Penaherrera
Executive Director
The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

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Copyright © 2021 Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in either through our website, when you volunteered, or when you made a donation.

Our mailing address is:

Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

781 Beach St Ste 302

San Francisco, CA 94109-1245

Our Mission Continues

An item from a fellow veterans organization in the Bay Area.


Greetings! I know it’s been a while since we last were in touch. We appreciate so much all that you have done with us. Whether you have given your time, supported our work by telling friends and family about the Foundation, or donated funds to help – we are truly grateful.

We started 2020 with high hopes. We aimed to hold Memorial Day events all over the country at cemeteries to place flowers to honor our fallen and their sacrifices, and to fully cover Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), our nation’s most sacred burial ground, with floral tributes.

And then COVID-19 happened. We could not hold events nationwide. Arlington National Cemetery closed completely to the public for months, admitting only family passholders and those attending funerals.

But our desire to honor our fallen was still there. Thankfully, and with the wonderful help of the ANC administration, we were able to organize a modified floral tribute, distributing thousands of flowers to gold star families as they entered Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Bridge. Our socially-distanced and masked volunteers used broom sticks to carefully pass bags to family pass holders, and then the families distributed the flowers on twelve thousand gravesites.

It was not the Memorial Day we had planned for at the start of 2020. But it was a day that memorialized those who served and died for our country. And we aim to do that again in 2021.

We aren’t entirely sure what things will look like in May 2021 for Memorial Day this year. But we are already organizing. Our plan is not to organize large events at most cemeteries, as that seems unlikely again this year. Instead, we will bring the flowers to the people with our Tribute Boxes Program.

An individual or family can order a Tribute Box of 50, 125, or 250 flowers to place in late May 2021 in a cemetery near their home on their own, or use the flowers to create bouquets to deliver to a veterans home, VA hospital or Vet Center. For scout troops or larger groups of families, we also have a Troop Tribute Box of 1500 flowers (enough for about 15 dedicated members and 2 or 3 adults to distribute in less than 2 hours). Flowers can be easily ordered through our website, and we will express ship them directly in time for the Memorial Day holiday.

Distributing flowers in a cemetery for a solitary person, a family, or a small group of families, is an activity that is easy to do while maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask. For a person with 125 stems, it can take about 90-120 minutes, if they are visiting gravesites that are relatively close together, and pausing to read each name and be grateful for their service.

For individuals seeking to find a deeper meaning in Memorial Day, distributing flowers hearkens back to the history of the holiday, which was originally known as Decoration Day, because people would bring flowers to cemeteries to decorate gravesites. For families seeking to get out of the house during the pandemic and educate their children about the U.S. and its history, this activity is a simple way to spend time together outside as a family and give back to the community. We hope you will consider participating. Read more here and place an order now for May 2021.

We hope to again distribute flowers to family passholders in a safe manner at Arlington National Cemetery this year, with the permission of the ANC Administration.

The Foundation is participating in Giving Tuesday on December 1. It’s a day for people to give to worthy charities during the holiday season. Every dollar that is given will place a flower at an Arlington National Cemetery gravesite.  And in a difficult year we have some good news. Thanks to the generous support of the California Association of Growers and Shippers, the Foundation’s administrative costs are covered for 2021.

Thank you for your support. You are helping us honor our fallen troops and veterans every time you share a social media post with a friend, tell someone else about our work over Memorial Day Weekend, or place flowers in a cemetery to honor our fallen.  Thank you, for your partnership in this work.

Best wishes to you and yours for a joyous holiday and new year,

R. L. Penaherrera
Executive Director

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Copyright © 2020 Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in either through our website, when you volunteered, or when you made a donation.

Our mailing address is:

Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

781 Beach St Ste 302

San Francisco, CA 94109-1245