HomeNewsWreaths Across America raising funds to honor fallen soldiers

Wreaths Across America raising funds to honor fallen soldiers

Wreaths Across America is a non-profit whose mission is to make sure every veteran who’s died in combat or peacetime is honored properly each year.

This happens on a Saturday in December, on Dec. 16 for this year.

The wreaths are made from evergreen trees from a farm in Maine, owned by Morrill Worcester and multiple generations of his family.

Each year, they make wreaths to put on as many fallen soldiers’ graves as possible, but it takes funding to be able to make them and transport them to cemeteries all over the nation.

And once they’re transported, it takes volunteers for the wreaths to be placed on each soldier’s grave.

One way the wreaths are funded is through fundraisers and awareness throughout the year, generated mainly through efforts associated with mobile wreath units and pledge locations.

One of those mobile units was in Jackson last week, and the local chapter of the Daughters of the America Revolution helped raise funds.

“My family is a Gold Star Family because my brother did two active tours overseas and was killed in a car wreck in California when he came back home,” said Milan resident Steven Tatum, speaking about his brother, Daniel, who was a Marine who died in 2007. “And my family is active in Wreaths Across America and getting the message out about its mission.”

The mobile unit was in Lowe’s parking lot on Vann Drive. It had displays in one part of the vehicle showing the history of how Wreaths Across America started, and a second section of the vehicle is a mini-theater in which visitors can watch three short films – totaling a combined less than 10 minutes – to hear and see more about the organization.

“We partner with Wreaths Across America to raise funds for soldiers who are buried in the veterans’ cemetery in Parker’s Crossroads,” said Jackie Utley, the president of the Jackson-Madison County chapter of DAR. “But we also try to raise funds for other cemeteries once ours is completely funded each year.”

Utley and other DAR representatives set up under a tent in the shade to talk with visitors about Wreaths Across America and take donations. One wreath is $17.

“I’ve got family who served and have died, and I know I never want their sacrifice and service to ever be forgotten, and that’s one of the key goals of Wreaths Across America – to make sure no one is ever forgotten,” Utley said. “That’s why when we place the wreaths, it’s a slow and deliberate process where each veteran gets a moment of silence after the person laying the wreath says their name.

“We don’t need to forget the names of those who’ve served our country. And this is a way to give back to the families of those who’ve lost a soldier.”

To sponsor a wreath, you can go to wreathsacrossamerica.org and donate online.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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