Woodlawn Cemetery is honored to be a participating cemetery for the first time this year in WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA.
Wreaths Across America is a national program that started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Maine. Mr. Worcester found himself with more wreaths than he needed and looked for a way to have them utilized. He, with the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, made arrangements for the wreaths to be placed on veteran’s graves in an older section of Arlington National Cemetery. This happened year after year very quietly until 2005 when a photo of the wreaths went viral on the internet.
Requests came in on how people could sponsor wreaths not only at Arlington but National and State cemeteries across the country. Unable to send thousands of wreaths across the country, Mr. Worcester sent 7 wreaths to every state to represent the 5 branches of the military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, & Coast Guard), 1 for all POW/MIAs, and 1 for all persons currently serving. In 2006, the Civil Air Patrol and other organizations helped host more than 150 ceremonies across the country.
In 2007, the current Wreaths Across America program was born. Their mission is to REMEMEBER, HONOR, TEACH. Remember all fallen veterans, Honor those who serve, and Teach our children the value of freedom. In 2018 close to 1.8 million wreaths were laid at 1,640 locations across the country plus for the first time at the Normandy-American Cemetery in France.
Congress has declared that Saturday, December 14, 2019 be National Wreaths Across America Day. Ceremonies around the country will be held at 12 pm Eastern Standard time, including at Woodlawn Cemetery. The theme for 2019 is EVERYONE PLAYS A PART. The veterans have done their part by serving, now it is up to all Americans to play theirs by remembering and honoring them.
To play your part you can sponsor a wreath by going to the Woodlawn Cemetery – Syracuse page at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org and choosing one of our sponsoring groups to purchase a wreath for $15. If you have a specific veteran grave at Woodlawn Cemetery that you would like to sponsor, you may indicate that at the time of your order. You can also come to Woodlawn on December 14th to participate the ceremony hosted by the Syracuse Civil Air Patrol and help place wreaths on the graves. Woodlawn is home to more than 2,000 veterans and we would love to see as many of them adorned with a wreath this holiday season as possible.