Tag Archives: Wreaths Across America

Mission Matters: Commemorate 9/11

An item from the folks at Wreaths Across America that may be of interest to members.


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Dear Michael Barbour,

 

Signs of fall are all around us here in Maine. The morning air is chilly, the sky has turned that special blue, the blueberry bushes that have been harvested have turned a brilliant red and September marks the official end of summer.

 

September also marks the anniversary of the event that changed our many lives forever.

 

September 11, 2001. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. I was hours away from my kids and I was scared.  My driver turned the car around and we raced home. I went directly to school and got my babies home and like so many others sat glued to the tv watching life as we knew it change forever.

 

From our living rooms we watched in real time the horror and carnage, but we also witnessed incredible acts of heroism and humanity.

 

But I also remember Sept 12th. Our little community gathered that night for a prayer in front of the town hall. Everyone hugging, crying, and comforting each other. There was a marked change in how people engaged with each other from casual encounters in a grocery store to the church pews overflowing with congregations seeking guidance navigating a new threat to our safety, and possibly, freedom.

 

In the wake of that terrible day, we came together as Americans. We were America, proud of first responders, volunteers and the many young people who joined the military to defend our wounded Country.

 

I remember, and speak often of, a commercial that showed a row of houses and the narration, “On September 11 terrorists tried to change our Country forever.” The next shot is of every house displaying the American Flag and the simple statement, “well, they succeeded.” It still stirs me to tears, 21 years later.

 

As we pause to remember on 9/11, I hope we can also reflect on the amazing efforts of those who have survived and succeeded, and those who rallied to meet the unique needs of victims and their families.

 

WAA’s mission, that is carried out by our many volunteers, includes opportunities to share in important remembrances. We hope you will join us on the 11th as we have our annual flag waving and also on Labor Day, as we Ring a Bell for Rosies, another opportunity to share the spirit of Americans working together for the common good.

 

“We’re blessed to have the opportunity to stand for something-liberty and freedom and fairness. And these are things worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to.” President Ronald Reagan

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Karen Worcester

Executive Director

National Flag Waving 9/11

On Sunday, September 11th, we’ll be waving the American flag to commemorate the 21st anniversary of 9/11. You can tune in to the Facebook Live Event that features the WAA office flag waving, and host a flag waving in your community.

National Flag Waving Event

Have You Forgotten?

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Read about the importance of teaching the value of the freedoms we enjoy in this country every day in a message from Wreaths Across America’s Curriculum Developer, Cindy Tatum. Additionally, you can access our Patriot Day Lesson Plans by clicking on the button below.

Tune In – Wreaths Across America Radio Remembers September 11th 

As we reflect on the events of September 11th, 2001, we know a lot of people were trying to “find a way to serve” after that tragic day.  If you want to share your story of how you found a way to serve after September 11th, 2001 e-mail us at waaradio@wreathsacrossamerica.org and tune in starting Friday September 9th, as we share the stories of service and sacrifice surrounding the events on September 11th on the iHeart Radio app, the Audacy app, the TuneIn App or click on the button below.

Recognizing Those Who Exemplify Our Mission

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Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Wreaths Across America Remember, Honor, Teach, and Learn Awards! Thank you for your outstanding efforts to honor veterans and their families. Read more about the winners below.

Hand-Carved Eagle Presentation

On Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, Alan Johnston, U.S. Army Veteran and Commander for the Maine Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars, led the dedication of a hand-carved wood eagle to Wreaths Across America’s founder Mr. Morrill Worcester, as part of the organization’s annual Stem to Stone event in Downeast Maine.

The eagle was carved by 90-year old Navy Veteran George Gunning and painted by his wife of 70 years, Donna, both of Windsor, as a gift of thanks to Mr. Worcester and all those who carry out the Wreaths Across America mission.

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Featured Merchandise

Game Day Long Sleeve

Fall is on the way, and cooler temps are already in the forecast!

 

Purchase the Wreaths Across America 2022 theme game day long sleeve and show your support of the mission.

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:

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

Learn About The Meaning Behind Stem To Stone!

An item from the folks at Wreaths Across America.


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Here at Wreaths Across America headquarters, preparations are being made for our annual summer weekend event, Stem to Stone. The WHY for this gathering is to highlight that Wreaths Across America is not just an event but an experience, and in fact for some has become a way of life. This concept was shared more eloquently in a poem written by longtime volunteer Location Coordinator Jill Harris from Crownsville Veterans’ Cemetery in Maryland. Read it by clicking on the button below.

Thank you, Jill, and all the volunteers that make the mission to Remember, Honor, Teach a reality in your own communities. You, the volunteers and supporters, are Stem to Stone and in working together we not only share history and instill accountability for freedom in our children, we also set the example of the power of one.

With Gratitude,

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Karen Worcester, Executive Director

Back To School Curriculum

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Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, or a teacher, we encourage you to share the WAA Teach materials with the young people in your life. This month, we have new Back To School resources for you!

Read more from the Curriculum Developer for Wreaths Across America by clicking on the button below.

Wreaths Across America Radio: Your Radio Station

You can be part of the Stem to Stone weekend from anywhere with Wreaths Across America Radio, listen starting Thursday, August 4th through Saturday, August 6th, for updates, special guests, and a lot of great music. Wreaths Across America Radio is available 24/7 on the iHeart Radio app, the Audacy app, the TuneIn App or click on the button below to listen.

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Last Chance: Register For the Stem to Stone Remembrance Race
Saturday, August 6th

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Join us in Columbia Falls, Maine, where the mission of Wreaths Across America will be on display through the 5K Run/Walk/Ruck and 10K Run, or from your own course at home.

Each individual race registration sponsors a fresh balsam veteran’s wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero on National Wreaths Across America Day.

Featured Merchandise: Vibe Speaker Tumbler

The Wreaths Across America Vibe Speaker Tumbler is vacuum insulated and it keeps your beverage cold for 24 hours or hot for 8 hours!

Listen to Wreaths Across America Radio on the tumbler’s detachable speaker with 6 hours of playtime.

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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:

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

Mission Matters Newsletter: Do Good Twice with Giving In July!

An item from the Wreaths Across America organization that may be of interest to members.


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Dear Michael Barbour,

 

It’s hard to believe that the longest day of this year is already behind us. As the days begin to shorten, we are reminded of that old saying that time marches on.

 

It’s also the time of year for graduations, weddings and young people beginning the next phase of their lives. As parents and grandparents, we watch them take these big steps and hope that we have instilled in them qualities that will help them along the way… responsibility, kindness, empathy, and sense of community, to name a few.

These thoughts crossed my mind as I sat down to write about our “Giving in July” program. During this month we highlight like-minded organizations who raise funds for their cause using our $5 back sponsorship program. To date, more than $17 million has been given back to help fund local community causes through this WAA initiative. In addition, and to the point of preparing our “kids” for the real world, it is also an opportunity to teach, through a real-life example, the benefit of working together for a greater good.

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It would be disingenuous to have the mission to remember, honor, teach and not work with those who are working towards the same goals. These partnerships enable us to better serve the veteran community, and others.

 

Across the country dedicated WAA volunteers adhering to the same concept bring diverse groups of people together to honor those who have served and involve their communities in the experience. Their efforts are not only making a difference today, but an impression that will influence the next generation. The ‘kids’ are watching, and finding a way to serve in your community helps them learn how they too can make a difference.

 

“ Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” …. Henry Ford

 

Have a Happy July. Embrace your freedom and family and stay America Strong and America Proud.

 

With gratitude,

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Karen Worcester

Executive Director

These Are the Times That Try Men’s Souls” 

With schools out for summer across the country, parents and caregivers of school-aged children may be thinking, or even saying those words made famous by Thomas Paine in 1776! But never fear, Wreaths Across America Teach Curriculum is here to save the day!

Learn more about our July 4th activities by clicking on the button.

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Visit the Mobile Education Exhibit

Mobile Education Exhibit

The Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit will make stops in Minnesota, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and Washington in July.

 

The exhibit serves as a mobile museum, educating visitors about the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes as well as serving as an official ‘welcome home’ station for our nation’s Vietnam Veterans.

Featured Merchandise

July is the perfect time of year to start thinking about the holiday season, and this year’s themed ornament makes the perfect gift!

 

Or, show your support of the mission at all this summer’s parties with our new logo’d Tumbler!

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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

Last Call: Observe Memorial Day in the Spirit It Was Intended

An item from the Wreaths Across America organization.


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Dear Michael Barbour,

 

Like most of you, I am looking forward to this weekend and the community display of patriotism. Families will gather for cookouts and fireworks, and parades will bring people together all over the country.

 

As I started to pull my thoughts together for this month’s message, I struggled to not sound cliché.

 

Memorial Day is a day designated to honor and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Freedom does come at great cost. And we do indeed live in the land of the free, because of the brave. But this week, I had the honor to spend some time with a Gold Star Mother, and although her son died more than 15 years ago, he is ever-present when we are together.

 

She shared some of the planned upcoming events to remember and honor her son, and as she was talking what I already knew was reconfirmed. For her, every day is Memorial Day, and for me witnessing her life’s mission to keep his memory alive fueled my commitment to the WAA mission, my admiration for this mom, and my love for my country.

 

I was asked in an interview this week what I would ask people to do on Memorial Day. In retrospect, I would say it is important to honor and remember those who died, but also it is so important to take time to learn about their lives. Put a face with the name in your mind and encourage others to do the same…make it personal.

 

Memorial Day is a day when people come together to remember those who died in service to our country, but also to remind us of the liberty and blessings we enjoy at their expense.

 

If you take time to meet and know Gold Star families and their loved ones stories, that feeling of pride and patriotism will become a part of your daily walk and stay in your heart long after the parade.

 

Remember – Honor – Teach

With gratitude,

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Karen Worcester

Executive Director

Honor and Remember a Loved One Who Served

Now it is perhaps more important than ever that we take the time to observe Memorial Day in the spirit it was intended.

Let’s bring our Wreaths Across America community together this year to remember our fallen veterans and honor them as they deserve.

 

Click on the button below to get started.

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Register Now: Stem To Stone Remembrance Run

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Our annual Stem to Stone Race Remembrance Run will take place on August 6th. Join us in Columbia Falls, Maine, where the mission will be on display through the 5K Run/Walk/Ruck and 10K Run, or from your own course at home. Each individual race registration sponsors a fresh balsam veteran’s wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero on National Wreaths Across America Day. During check out, you can designate a sponsorship group or participating location you want your sponsored wreath allocated for placement.

TEACH the Next Generation the Value of Freedom

It can be tough to keep children engaged in the learning process during the summer, but it is important that they continue to be engaged in learning activities during the summer months.

 

Click on the buttons below to read a blog by WAA’s Education Liaison about ways to keep youth engaged and access free resources via our website.

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The Mobile Education Exhibit Will Visit Three States in June

The MEE will visit Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida this June. Don’t miss interactive exhibits, short films, and shared stories.

 

Public tours for the MEE are free and open to the public, members of the media, dignitaries, veterans, and other interested groups who would like to come, ask questions, share stories and experience this one-of-a-kind exhibit.

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Featured Merchandise

Did you know that Wreaths Across America offers a scented candle? If you’ve ever taken a tip land tour, you know the encompassing smell that guides you through the beautiful evergreens.

 

Bring the scent of the tip land into your home!

Candle

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

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,

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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