We all have our what matters moments. As a dependent daughter of a career military officer and an (IN)dependent wife of a submariner for 23 years this is my matter.
Wreaths Across America started as a gesture of kindness in 1992 from wreath farmer, Morrill Worcester, in Maine. I first heard about it during my volunteer work at the National Cemetery of Arizona. Although I tend to what I call my garden, it is here where I learn about grief and what the worst day in your life probably looks like. I have talked to family members who range in age from 5- 95 all with one thing in common, a lost loved one. And yet the rewards at being present in this moment are exactly that, rewards. I tuck away history, comfort regrets and anger, and cherish the memories trusted to me. My promises are simple. I am here and I will be sure to remember.
Wreaths Across America makes sure we, as a nation, remember with them. The first wreaths were placed in a corner at Arlington National Cemetary. An iconic image in 2005 sparked national attention, snowballed the dream, and catapulted the event that is now held simultaneously at over 1200 locations worldwide. Their dream? To remember our fallen, honor those who serve, and teach children the value of freedom. All because…
Memory is a diary we carry in our hearts.
I don’t know who they are, I don’t need to. This was their space, their time and their hero.
Even so, I was trying to decide if I was sad, empathetic, or angry. I wanted nothing more then to have a remote control to press rewind to another moment in time. I guess that is what our memories are for. Even though I was caught off guard and watched them for a moment, I left with a smile on my face. They were in fact doing what moms do with kids…have picnics.
Wreaths Across America Day is held on the third Saturday of December designated in a unanimous vote by Congress in 2008. This years theme is I’m an American, Yes I am, inspired by songwriter Rick Charette and the children of Kennebunkport Elementary School. The $15.00 wreaths can be purchased through December 1. It is possible to designate a local cemetery, and specify a name, and it is important to know the purchase of a wreath is not required to participate in the ceremony, on December 16th.
The wreaths are transported by truckers who donate their time, escorted by PGR who find the time, and placed on the headstones by those appreciative of time.
So join us. Here in Arizona I am humbled to see the desert landscape become a sea of green in a matter of hours. I know, days before, my parents bid farewell and safe journey to the trucks passing by their NH town. I think of a blogging friend in her emotional visit to the National Cemetery in Hawaii, with her children, last year. Visit her story here.
We are knitted by a simple promise and a common goal, to remember. I will join friends honoring family, I will gather my collection of promises made, and share the memories that have been shared with me, and I am grateful,
My cousins will be joining me in NY, simultaneously paying respects to my uncle.
We are not here to decorate graves. We are here to remember not their deaths, but their lives. – Karen Worcester, Executive Dir of Wreaths across America
In memory of too many… Donna
Never forget…say their names.
The Daily Post:Knit