This past weekend our family had the honor of participating in Wreaths Across America (WAA) at the Houston National Cemetery amongst several thousand volunteers. We stood alongside Veterans, Active Duty, Patriot Riders, Boy and Girl Scout Troops, ROTC and FFA groups, and every day citizens by themselves or with their friend and families.
WAA is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and thanking our veterans for their service and sacrifice. The Wreaths Across America mission is to “Remember, Honor, and Teach.” And what an honor it was.
|Photo by Jennifer Yohner Tucker of Tomball, TX|
Before laying the wreaths, the ceremony had everything from the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance to Invocation, Benediction, Rifle Salute and Taps. This was especially wonderful considering the fight we recently had to go through to be able to continue our freedom OF religion at the Houston National Cemetery. There was even a low fly over from the United States Coast Guard. Very cool. We were instructed that it wasn’t a race and to take our time, be respectful and how to lay the wreaths properly.
At each grave, I straightened the bow, stepped back, read the name out loud, said a prayer in their honor and thanked them for their service and for my freedom. It is because of each of them and so many more that we are able to live free. Never forget. My intent was to lay 26 wreaths, in honor of my father who served 26 years in the U.S. Army, but we were able to lay so many more. This makes me happy and I wish we could have done more. I’ve shared the names of each of these heroes at the end of this post.
Of the 59,000 graves at the Houston National Cemetery, fundraising was able to bring in over 31,000 wreaths from Maine. Corporate sponsors KHOU 11, Wal-Mart, KBR and Waste Management helped make the event a success, as well as the countless individuals and groups that work months in advance. Mark your calendars now for Saturday, 12/8/2012 at 1100 hours!
Now, please join me in thanking the heroes below for their sacrifice and for our freedom. Say their name out loud. As WAA-Houston Director Scott deMasi noted during the opening ceremony, for many of our fallen heroes, it’s been years since someone said their name. Let’s make it twice in a matter of days. Please join me.
May God Bless them and their families today and always.
- Clean Up Day – Saturday, January 7, 2012 from 0900-1200 hrs (hope to see you there!)
- Wreaths Across America Houston – Saturday, December 8, 2012 from 1100-1600 hrs
God Bless Our Troops … always!