Wreaths Across America honors Veterans at VA national cemeteries
Evelyn Goski and her mother came to the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery for 2014’s Wreaths Across America with the Snowball Express. Texas’ Snowball Express organization provides families of military heroes who have died while on active duty with an all-expense paid trip to North Texas, hoping to make some new holiday memories. While here, Evelyn and her mother came to visit her father’s, SSG Christopher R Goski, gravesite and decorated a wreath donated by Wreaths Across America. (Photo courtesy Deparment of Veterans Affairs)
Tomorrow, national cemeteries across America will host this year’s Wreaths Across America event. Since 2006, volunteers from Veterans service organizations, the Civil Air Patrol and community groups have placed wreaths at VA’s national cemeteries and state Veterans cemeteries. But tradition began in 1992 when the Worcester Wreath Company donated wreaths for gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Civil Air Patrol is coordinating ceremonies around the country as part of Wreaths Across America. All 133 VA national cemeteries receive at least seven wreaths, one for each service branch, one for the Merchant Marine and one for prisoners of war and those missing in action.
This summer, Ellsworth Cemetery in Westminster, Maryland, held a headstone dedication for nine U.S. Colored Troops. The community practice of identifying and restoring unmarked graves has increased, particularly at historic Black cemeteries.