Helping Works

Honor veterans at Wreaths Across America Remembrance Ceremony

Family, military personnel and volunteers will place Christmas wreaths - one for every site at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery - on Saturday, Dec. 15, in Boise. Part of a nationally coordinated Wreaths Across America, the remembrance ceremony honors men and women who served our nation.
Family, military personnel and volunteers will place Christmas wreaths - one for every site at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery - on Saturday, Dec. 15, in Boise. Part of a nationally coordinated Wreaths Across America, the remembrance ceremony honors men and women who served our nation. Idaho Statesman file photo

Remember, honor and teach — three words that many consider important in today’s society, but are especially powerful for the nonprofit Wreaths Across America.

It’s the organization’s objective to “remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve, and teach children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.”

And to execute such a mission, a wreath-laying ceremony is held each December at Arlington National Cemetery and at veterans’ gravesites across America. It all started back in 1992 with Maine businessman Morrill Worcester.

In the Treasure Valley, the Wreaths Across America Remembrance Ceremony is at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, 10100 N. Horseshoe Bend Road, Boise.

The public is invited to attend the brief program with keynote speaker former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, and then participate in placing fresh wreaths on the veterans’ graves.

Wreaths Across America is celebrating its 27th year and this year’s theme is “Be Their Witness.”

Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA explains, “through the WAA program, we are ensuring that the lives of our men and women in uniform are remembered, not their deaths. It is our responsibility as Americans, to be their witness and to share their stories of service and sacrifice with the next generation.”

Community donations are key to making sure that every gravesite gets a wreath.

This year’s sponsorship goal of 4,700 was reached (high five); however, next year the WAA expects to need an additional 600 to 800 wreaths.

Barbara Grant, WAA volunteer, points out that “while we have already reached our veterans wreath sponsorship goal for this year, please come out and take part in the WAA Remembrance Ceremony by helping to place wreaths. It is a very moving and heartfelt ceremony honoring and remembering our Idaho veterans laid to rest.”

For those who would like to sponsor a wreath ($15 each) for next year’s ceremony, go to wreathsacrossamerica.org and use group number ID0005 at checkout, or contact Tamara Earp, Wreaths Across America coordinator, at 208-995-1640 or wreaths4idahovets@gmail.com.

WAA will also donate a wreath for every two wreaths purchased using that group number.

Michelle Jenkins: 208-377-6451
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