None of the headstones at the Arlington National Cemetery will have to forego wreaths this holiday season thanks, in large part, to the Breitbart News Daily audience.
The executive director of Wreaths Across America, a non-profit that places the commemorative garland on veteran tombstones throughout the United States and elsewhere without government assistance, confirmed today that their goal of placing wreaths on 230,000 headstones has been met.
The non-profit strictly relies on donations to place $15 fresh evergreen wreaths on headstones at Arlington Cemetery and thousands of other locations across the United States and overseas.
As of Nov. 27, the charity was facing a 30,000 wreath deficit to cover the 230,000 headstones at the national cemetery. However, that shortfall has been covered, courtesy of donations from Breitbart News Daily listeners and good Samaritans across the nation.
In fact, the organization will exceed its goal of placing a wreath on each veteran headstone at the Arlington Cemetery this year. Extra wreaths will be used to honor the cremated remains of thousands of veterans at the national cemetery’s columbarium.
“We are hoping we will get to cover the, just to be clear, the many more buried in the columbarium, but what they want us to do is cover the cornerstones and there are thousands of those,” Karen Worcester, executive director for Wreaths Across America, told Breitbart News Daily. “So, that is our next goal. We will keep accepting donations this year up through the 9th [of December].”
“Although beyond the columbarium we can’t be location specific, we can promise…that every $15 will put a wreath on a veteran’s grave and I just can’t tell you enough what that means,” she added, her voice breaking with emotion. “It’s huge and thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Worcester was emotional when she announced on Breitbart News Daily this morning that the organization had reached and exceeded its goal of covering all headstones at the national cemetery.
“We have great news and I can’t thank you enough,” she said. “We do have all of the stones covered at Arlington.”
“We are working on getting the columbarium’s columns done and I am overwhelmed,” she continued, adding, “I just want to remind everyone that every stone represents an individual who lived and served the country.”
“I’m just very emotional, very appreciative,” she declared.
Every year, on the second or third Saturday of December — National Wreaths Across America Day — the charity coordinates wreath laying ceremonies at over 1,000 veteran cemeteries and other sacred places across the United States and 24 locations on foreign soil in honor and remembrance of the nation’s fallen heroes.
This year National Wreaths Across America Day falls on Dec. 12.
The non-profit embarks on a week-long pilgrimage every year dubbed the “Veteran’s Parade,” which starts in Harrington, Maine and culminates on Wreaths Across America Day at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, right outside Washington, D.C, with the delivery of the “remembrance wreaths” for the thousands of warriors laid to rest there.
Gold Star families, which refers to those who have lost relatives in military service and are entitled to display a Gold Star, participate in the Veteran’s Parade, said Worcester.
During the annual trip, the organization stops at schools, monuments, veterans’ homes and communities along the way to promote its mission of honoring those who serve, remembering the fallen heroes, and teaching children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to keep the America safe and preserve the freedoms it provides.
Wreaths Across America predicts that over 800,000 volunteers will gather at veterans cemeteries and other sacred locations across the U.S. and beyond this year to honor more than 850,00 fallen heroes.