Our May local charity spotlight is Wreaths Across America (American Legion Auxiliary South Lake Memorial Unit 55); a perfect match with Memorial Day coming up! Plus, I come from a Military town (Hampton Roads in Virginia) so this hits close to home for me.
It all began with a little boy...
Wreaths Across America all started because of one boy’s first visit to Arlington National Cemetery in our nation’s capital. This boy, then man, became the owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. In 1992, Worcester Wreath found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Remembering his boyhood experience at Arlington, Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country’s veterans. With the aid of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery that had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year. This went on as an annual tribute for several years, until 2005, when a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the project received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help with Arlington, to emulate the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes.
As demand grew, the Worcester family, along with veterans, and other groups and individuals, formed Wreaths Across America in 2007. To read the full history, please go HERE.
“The annual trip to Arlington and the groups of volunteers eager to participate in Worcester’s simple wreath-laying event grew each year until it became clear the desire to remember and honor our country’s fallen heroes was bigger than Arlington, and bigger than this one company.”
Remember. Honor. Teach.
In 2008, over 300 locations held wreath-laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 overseas cemeteries. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves. Over 60,000 volunteers participated. And that year, December 13, 2008 was unanimously voted by the US Congress as “Wreaths Across America Day”.
In 2014, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers laid over 700,000 memorial wreaths at 1,000 locations in the United States and beyond, including ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, as well as Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites if the September 11 tragedies. This was accomplished with help from 2,047 fundraising groups, corporate contributions, and donations of trucking, shipping, and thousands of helping hands. The organization's goal of covering Arlington National Cemetery was met in 2014 with the placement of 226,525 wreaths.
The wreath-laying is still held annually, on the second or third Saturday of December. WAA's annual pilgrimage from Harrington, Maine to Arlington National Cemetery has become known as the world’s largest veterans’ parade, stopping at schools, monuments, veterans’ homes and communities all along the way to remind people how important it is to remember, honor and teach.
American Legion Auxiliary South Lake Memorial unit 55 (FL0236P)
Our local unit here in Orlando is currently sponsoring 7 cemeteries and 750 Veterans graves!
On Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 11:35 AM, American Legion Auxiliary South Lake Memorial Unit 55 (FL0236P) will be helping Oak Hill Cemetery to Remember and Honor our veterans by laying Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country's fallen heroes.
Please help them honor and remember as many fallen heroes as possible by sponsoring remembrance wreaths, volunteering on Wreaths Day, or inviting your family and friends to attend with you.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
What does it mean to sponsor a veteran’s wreath? It means you’ll honor an American hero at one of more than 1,600 locations nationwide this year on Wreaths Across America Day. It’s a day that’s been set aside to lay wreaths at the places where we remember, honor and teach about our veterans. Learn more about sponsoring 1 or more wreaths, including monthly sponsorship HERE.
We will have representatives from WAA at our GNO at Bartaco on May 20th and they will be offering their current May special: Sponsor one Wreath for $15.00, earn another one for free!
Sign up to be a volunteer! You can help lay wreaths, help raise funds for wreath sponsorships, and more! Learn more on the website or by speaking with our representatives at our event.
Donate at our GNO
Our local unit also collections donated canned goods for veterans in need. We will be collecting these donations at our Girls Night Out Networking Social at Bartaco on May 20th! WAA will have a table where you can donate, sponsor wreaths, and get more information on how to get involved!
Show Your Support
On Wreaths Across America Day or anytime, anywhere, you can show your support for our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. Browse an exclusive selection of Apparel, Gifts, Decor and more. Go HERE to learn more.
Be sure to register for your FREE ticket to our May 20th Girls Night Out Networking Social at Bartaco
by clicking HERE!
Hi! I'm Michelle. I love traveling, trying new restaurants, meeting new people, going to the parks, and playing with my dogs. I'm also super Disney obsessed - parks, cruise lines, movies - I love it all!
I host monthly networking events in the Orlando area for all women to attend. I look forward to meeting you at our next GNO!