Tag Archives: Wreaths Across America

This Memorial Day, Honor and Remember Your Loved One.

An item from the Wreaths Across America organization.


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Memorial Day is a holiday set aside to remember those who died in service to our Country. Breaking that down further, that service to the country and the sacrifice of their lives is what allows us as Americans to live in freedom.

While many Americans will take advantage of the warming weather to celebrate an unofficial start to summer, at Wreaths Across America, we will share in the unity that Military Appreciation month grants to continue to recognize our nation’s military and veterans. We will honor the sacrifices of so many heroes, say their names, share their stories and understand that though Memorial Day is about remembering those who died, the lessons we learn from them and pay forward are for our children.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

Remember – Honor – Teach

With gratitude,

karensignature

Karen Worcester

Executive Director

Let Us Never Forget Our Solemn Pledge

It’s often said that for those who have served “every day is Memorial Day,” a traditionally silent observance in the Veteran’s mind that can best be described as an impossible trinity made up of an overwhelming sense of guilt, grief, and grit.

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Usually, a moment of silence on this day is a welcomed and solemn way to honor the voices from our past, but for myself, after losing three former soldiers to suicide in the past few months, silence is no longer an option and the freedom to use our voice is the greatest gift that our veterans have to offer this Memorial Day.

Read Wreaths Across America’s full Memorial Day message written by Joseph Reagan, Director of Military and Veterans Outreach, by clicking on the button below.

Ways you Can Honor and Remember a Loved One Who Served 

Give the Gift of Remembrance.

With every $15 veteran’s wreath sponsorship, you have the opportunity to dedicate it “In Memory Of” a loved one who served. In addition to placing the wreaths each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, Wreaths Across America hosts a virtual “Remember Wall” for each participating location. You can post photos, memories and personal messages on these pages as a year-round display of remembrance for your loved ones.

Dedicate a Living Memorial Through the Remembrance Tree Program.

Wreaths Across America established the Veteran’s Remembrance Tree Program as another way to remember and honor our veterans. In Columbia Falls, Maine, where the balsam tips are harvested each year to be made into the wreaths that are placed on veteran’s graves, families can participate in the Remembrance Tree Program by finding a tree that will become a living memorial to their loved one and placing a customized dog tag on the trunk of the evergreen tree. These trees are kept in production and their balsam tips are harvested every three years and made into veterans’ wreaths that are placed each December. Participation in this program is FREE and open to all families who have had a loved one in the military.

TEACH the Next Generation the Value of Freedom

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ICYMI: Earlier this month we announced the launch of our expanded TEACH program and collaboration with like-minded organizations that focuses on character development and service programs for youth of all ages, with lesson plans for all grade levels and learning abilities – including Memorial Day projects! To learn more and download the curriculum, please click the button.

Wreaths Across America Radio

Coming up on April 30, it’s a Gold-Star Saturday on Wreaths Across America Radio! Tune in to hear Jeff Pierce and Director of Military and Veteran Outreach Joe Reagan broadcast from the New York State Gold Star Mothers Convention. Our coverage begins at 8 am on Saturday, as we take the show on the road to the New York State Gold Star Mother Convention exclusively on Wreaths Across America Radio.

Featured Merchandise

Add the Wreaths Across America Tervis Tumbler to your collection!

Tumbler

Make sure to follow Wreaths Across America official channels on social media for the most up-to-the-minute news on the mission throughout the year:

Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Instagram

Wreaths Across America, PO Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623, United States, 877-385-9504

Don’t Miss March’s Mission Matter Newsletter!

The monthly newsletter from the folks at the Wreaths Across America organization.


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Dear Michael Barbour,

 

National Medal of Honor Day is Friday, March 25, 2022.

 

In 2018, my husband Morrill Worcester and I were honored, and incredibly humbled, to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Patriot Award.

 

The work that we have been blessed to do through nonprofit Wreaths Across America has afforded us opportunities to meet so many amazing Gold and Blue Star families, veterans, and active-duty military all who have played a part in strengthening our resolve to share their stories of service and sacrifice.

 

You can’t imagine how thrilled we were to have the chance to meet so many veterans, who had “distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty.”

 

It is not an exaggeration to say that meeting and getting to know some of these heroes has changed our lives and helped guide the Wreaths Across America mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. As we and a grateful nation celebrate National Medal of Honor Day, I’d like to share a few memories that I will carry in my heart forever.

 

To read more about the men behind the medals, click here.

 

Remember – Honor – Teach

With gratitude,

karensignature

Karen Worcester

Executive Director

Join Us Live!

medal of honor

Wreaths Across America will host a National Medal of Honor Day Ceremony at 12pm ET/ 9 am PT on Friday, March 25, to Honor all those who have “distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty.”

Wreaths Across America RoundTable – Veteran Caregivers

Tune in TONIGHT,  Thursday, March 24 at 7pm ET

Whether we know it or not, all of us will serve as a caregiver for a loved one at some point in our lives. For some it is obvious, an elderly parent, an ailing spouse, unable to fully take care of themselves because of their condition. For others it’s less obvious, or perhaps they don’t realize it – the child being extra helpful, the spouse managing medical appointments. However we define it, caregivers are a critical component of our healthcare system and to support the health of loved ones – it is a difficult and often thankless job. This is especially true of our Military and Veteran populations.

 

More than half of our Veteran population is over the age of 65. They are at greater risk of suffering from malnutrition, substance abuse disorders, and post traumatic stress. Veterans are more likely to be dealing with two or more chronic conditions adding further complications to their care. Most tragic, while we typically associate suicide with young people – older Veterans account for almost 60 percent of Veteran suicides.

 

At Wreaths Across America we see this every day – these are not just statistics – these are our volunteers, our partners, our family. This month, Karen and Joe will be hosting a roundtable discussion talking about caregivers, highlighting the challenges, as well as the resources available to those caring for a loved one. We’re excited to partner with The American Red Cross, and Heroes Bridge to have an open and honest conversation about providing care to a loved one, and the resources available to support those providing that care. While our conversation is going to be primarily focused on caregivers to Veterans, we are certain that the conversation will be helpful to anyone who finds themselves at a point in their life where they are providing care to a loved one. As with all of our roundtable discussions on Wreaths Across America radio, our conversation is meant to focus on healing through shared stories of resilience, purpose, and success.

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This discussion, hosted by Executive Director Karen Worcester and Director of Military & Veteran Outreach Joe Reagan will focus on Military Caregivers. Guests will include Melissa Comeau, Director of the American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network andMolly Brooks, Registered Nurse as well as the CEO and Founder of Hero’s Bridge.

A 250th Birthday Present to America 

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Imagine a place that will build unity and pride for our country.  A place that is part national monument, part historical adventure, part immersive tech-driven museum, part architectural wonder. A place that will make history.

Born from a desire to advance unity and patriotism in America, members of the founding family of Wreaths Across America – Morrill, Mike, and Rob Worcester – are announcing their next large-scale project, the Flagpole of Freedom Park that will be located in the expansive tip lands of their balsam fir farm; the largest balsam farm in the U.S. where the wreaths are made.

 

After a decade of planning, this visionary Park will feature Remembrance Walls with the names of all 24 million American veterans since the Revolutionary – the only place in the nation to honor all of them in one place. At its center, standing taller than the Empire State Building, will be the world’s largest Flagpole and American Flag ever flown, symbolizing the commitment and sacrifice made to protect the freedoms of today.

 

Join Morrill, Mike and Rob Worcester on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 7 p.m. as they unveil this historic project that will humanize key events that have shaped our country’s history.  Phase one of the Park will open on July 4, 2026 – America’s 250th birthday.

ICYMI: 60th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 

On March 16, 2022, WAA commemorated the 60th anniversary of the disappearance of Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 at the monument dedicated to the 93 soldiers and 11 flight crew members lost that day, and all their families who were left behind.

 

The inscription on the Monument reads:

 

“Missing in action; Presumed dead. Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 went missing on March 16, 1962, with 93 U.S. Army soldiers on board. These men and their flight crew perished in what would become one of the biggest aviation mysteries out of the Vietnam War era.

 

THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES AND WHO REMAIN MISSING ARE INSCRIBED HERE SO THAT THEY WILL BE SAID ALOUD AND THEIR MEMORY WILL LIVE ON.”

NOW AVAILABLE: Recurring Sponsorships

You decide when and how often you want to give. Sign up today!

Featured Merchandise

Don’t miss the chance to add Wreaths Across America’s 2022 theme, Find A Way To Serve, to your ornament collection!

WAA Teach Ornament

Make sure to follow Wreaths Across America official channels on social media for the most up-to-the-minute news on the mission throughout the year:

Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Instagram

Wreaths Across America, PO Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623, United States, 877-385-9504

Stories of Service To Learn From. Your February 2022 Mission Matters newsletter is here!

A newsletter from the folks at the Wreaths Across America organization.


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Dear Michael Barbour,

 

The days are getting longer and, thankfully, a little warmer here at WAA Headquarters in Maine, and there is definite excitement in the air for 2022!

 

As we have poured over after-action reports, volunteer feedback and compared notes, the underlying theme across all departments was just how essential our volunteers are to Wreaths Across America’s continued success.

 

It is not lost on me or the WAA staff that the passion for the mission is demonstrated through so many dedicated individuals who not only understand, but live the mission and are our ambassadors on the local level. Every ceremony represents so much work and attention to detail but there is a component beyond those that continue to bring new people into the WAA family and that is, sincerity.

 

In communities all over the country veterans are honored by local families, but a common thread of understanding, and sacrifice for greater good pulls us all together and makes us stronger as one.

 

WAA looks forward to continuing to use our platforms: social media, newsletter and blog, and Wreaths Across America Radio to share stories, and to teach and fill the minds of our children through illustrations of service and sacrifice of real-life heroes.

 

We continue to depend on your understanding and help to carry out the year-long mission to fuel the next generation.

 

On behalf of the entire WAA Family, we thank you for your continued passion!

 

“Education is not the filling of a pot, but the lighting of a fire.” – W.B.Yeats

 

Remember – Honor – Teach

With gratitude,

karensignature

Karen Worcester

Executive Director

 

#FindAWay2022

A Lasting Legacy, Determination, Dedication and Distinction

As we learn and look to celebrate the people and stories of Black History Month, Joe Reagan shares details about the women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The “Six-Triple Eight” as they became known was the first and only all black Female Women Army Corp (WAC) unit to be deployed overseas during WWII and their mission was critical to the morale and success in the war.

The Tuskegee Legacy

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WWII had begun the first week James Sheppard was enrolled in high school. “A lot of young men at the time wanted to do their part for their country. It was a patriotic thing, and millions were signing up to get in. Dad heard they had established a program from African-American pilots, and he thought that was the thing to do.”

Tune in to Wreaths Across America Radio to learn more about the legacy of Master Sgt. James A. Sheppard, a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, as told by his son Bob Sheppard to Susan Patten.

 

The special Black History Month feature will air on the following days and times:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 4pm ET/1 pm PT
  • Friday, Feb. 25 at 11 am ET/8am PT

You’re Invited to this VIRTUAL Event:

Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Flying Tiger Line Flight 739

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Join us on VIRTUALLY on Wednesday, March 16, at 12pm EST/9am PST, as we commemorate the lives and legacy of the 93 United States Army soldiers and 11 civilian crew members who disappeared without a trace on this day, in 1962 while enroute to Vietnam on a top secret mission.

Save the Date

Our first Radio RoundTable of the year is planned to air on Thursday, March 24 at 7pm ET.

 

This discussion, hosted by Executive Director Karen Worcester and Director of Military & Veteran Outreach Joe Reagan will focus on Military Caregivers. Guests will include Melissa Comeau, Director of the American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network and

Molly Brooks, Registered Nurse as well as the CEO and Founder of Hero’s Bridge.

 

The team is accepting questions for this discussion in advance. If you have a question you’d like to hear discussed, please contact the team today!

Featured Merchandise

2021 Rockers are Back in Stock!

Each patch displays the date of a National Wreaths Across America Day and shows that you participated in one of our wreath-laying ceremonies.
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Make sure to follow Wreaths Across America official channels on social media for the most up-to-the-minute news on the mission throughout the year:

Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Instagram

Wreaths Across America, PO Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623, United States, 877-385-9504

Find A Way To Serve In 2022, Michael Barbour!

An update from the Wreaths Across America organization.


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Dear Michael Barbour,

 

Many years ago, John Wesley wrote “Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.” Those words come to my mind when I start thinking about the new theme for 2022 – FIND A WAY TO SERVE – and the expanded teaching initiative that will be part of it.

 

Of the veterans and gold star families that I have the honor to know, so many of them talk about the projects they are involved with to support and help others in their communities and the healing this type of service brings them. They have committed – in the wake of loss and sacrifice – to make a positive difference. In turn, they themselves find healing in that service. In fact it was from a Gold Star Mother that I first heard Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Sharing this theme and its principle gives us an opportunity to touch hearts, homes and communities. I often say the TEACH pillar of our mission is the most important, because I feel it is where we can make the most impact on this country and all who call it home. I am excited about the new curriculum that features character building, and service-oriented activities based on the attributes associated with those who serve in the military, similar to the 10 bouquets that make a veteran’s wreaths.

 

Belief in a greater good, love for each other, work ethic and character, honesty and integrity, and pride in our country are just a few of the qualities exemplified in the stories we share about our nation’s veterans and their families.

The Wreaths Across America family understands the need to teach the next generation the cost and value of freedom. Each year because of your dedication and support the mission grows. I am excited to share this year’s theme and upcoming teaching curriculum with you along with a challenge to make 2022 our best year ever, as we all find a way to serve.

Remember – Honor – Teach

With gratitude,

karensignature

Karen Worcester

Executive Director

#FindAWay2022

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Finding a Way to Serve

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As we approach the anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Bulge (officially, Jan 25th), Joe Reagan, our Director of Veteran and Military Outreach, reflects on this year’s theme and the stories of those who found a way to serve in their communities after returning from war.

This year, National Wreaths Across America Day will be held nationwide on Saturday, December 17, 2022.

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How Can You Join the Mission in 2022?

Sponsor a Wreath: Honor veterans in your local community by sponsoring a live, balsam veteran’s wreath that will be placed on the grave of an American hero in 2022. Every $15 received, places a wreath. It is never too early to support the mission!

Start a Sponsorship Group: As a pay back group, your civic, nonprofit, school or other group can help raise wreath sponsorships for a participating cemetery, and $5 for each $15 wreath sponsorship raised will be given back to you for you to support your program locally. Since 2007, WAA has given back approximately $17million through December 2021, to other organizations through this program!

 

As a 3-for-2 group, a third wreath is placed for every two wreath sponsorships made. This is a great way to ensure as many veterans as possible are honored and remembered at the participating cemetery your support!

 

Add a New Location: Coordinate a wreath-laying ceremony at a cemetery or veteran’s memorial in your community. Determine if this location is already participating by checking our website. We have resources to help you plan your ceremony and ensure community involvement and success!

 

Volunteer: Volunteer to place wreaths on National Wreaths Across America Day – Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022 – at any of our 3,1000+ participating locations. Involve your friends and family to honor our servicemen, women and families.

You’re Invited!

Join us on VIRTUALLY on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 12pm EST/9am PST, as we celebrate the lives and legacy of the Four Chaplains and all those lost on the USAT Dorchester 79 years ago.

 

Wreaths Across America will be LIVE from the Baslam Valley Chapel and tip lands where balsam is harvested to make veterans’ wreaths for Wreaths Across America.

New Year’s Resolution 2022: Tune in to Wreaths Across America Radio!

Wreaths Across America Radio is a 24/7 Internet stream. Its unique format provides informational and inspiring content about members of the U.S. armed forces, their families, military veterans, and volunteers throughout the country and overseas who support the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.

Make sure to follow Wreaths Across America official channels on social media for the most up-to-the-minute news on the mission throughout the year:

Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Instagram

Wreaths Across America, PO Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623, United States, 877-385-9504

2.4 Million Veterans Wreaths: Thanks To You!

An item from the Wreaths Across America organization.


On behalf of the Wreaths Across America organization and our family of volunteers and supporters across the country, we want to thank YOU for your support of the Mission to Remember the fallen, Honor those that serve and their families, and Teach the next generation the value of freedom. As Wreaths Across America founder Morrill Worcester told the audience at our recent Appreciation Rally “we’ve just barely scratched the surface” of honoring every veteran as they so deserve, but we have done so much and touched so many lives, and we could not have done any of it without your support.

During this year’s National Wreaths Across America observance, more than two million dedicated volunteers placed more than 2.4 million veterans’ wreaths at 3,136 participating locations across the country. At Arlington National Cemetery specifically, the Wreaths Across America program saw 66 tractor-trailers deliver over 250,000 veterans’ wreaths that were placed by nearly 38,000 volunteers, many of whom were children, some participating for the very first time.

As I think of those numbers, each of those gravesites, and each of those volunteers saying the servicemember’s name out loud and sharing a small gesture of gratitude for the freedoms Americans enjoy, I am immensely humbled. I am also truly overwhelmed with pride for the people of this great nation where so many individuals and communities can come together in unity and support for those who have protected our freedom. I will say it again: THANK YOU. Thank you for your time and your efforts, your sponsorships, and your help in sharing the word. Thank you most of all for taking the time during this busy season to join us in letting veterans and military families know that their service and sacrifice is both seen and appreciated and that they are not alone in their loss.

Remember. Honor. Teach.

With gratitude,
Karen Worcester
Executive Director
Wreaths Across America

National Wreaths Across America Day 2021

To submit photos from this year’s National Wreaths Across America Day, please follow the link below! You can also view photos featured on our Facebook page here.

Veteran Healing Roundtable: Tonight at 7 PM ET

While Wreaths Across America Day only happens once per year, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is truly year-round. Please consider joining us for for the fourth and final episode in our 2021 roundtable series focused on veteran healing through sharing stories of resilience, purpose, and success. This discussion will air on Thursday, December 23, at 7 p.m. and can be heard exclusively on Wreaths Across America Radio.

Sponsorship Group Match!

It’s never too early or too late to give the gift of remembrance. Sponsor a $15 veteran’s wreath today as a gift for the holidays and ensure an American hero is honored next December. Now through January 14, 2021, that wreath will be matched by Wreaths Across America Headquarters if sponsored through a participating Sponsorship Group.

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Continue To Share Your Stories

If you have feedback or stories to share, you can contact us through the link below or simply reply to this email. We’re always eager to hear about the lives and legacies of those who have served.