We have had an extremely busy weekend! I guess the holidays do that to people. It started out Saturday morning with a trip down to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery to participate in Wreaths Across America with Anthony’s Cub Scout pack. It was a very early morning and a long ceremony for a busy 6 year old, but it was so awesome, I can’t wait to do it every year.
About Wreaths Across America (from their website)
Wreaths Across America™, a non profit 501-c3 organization, was formed as an extension of the Arlington Wreath Project. The Arlington Wreath program was started by Morrill Worcester in 1992 with the donation and laying of 5000 Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. This became an annual journey for Mr. Worcester.
It was relatively obscure until 2005 when a photo of the stones adorned with wreaths and covered in snow circulated around the internet. The project received National attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to emulate the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries spurred the creation of “Wreaths Across America™”. Unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each state, Mr. Worcester conceived the idea of sending 7 wreaths (one for each branch of the military as well as POW/MIA). In 2006 with the help of the CAP and other civic organizations, over 150 locations held wreath laying ceremonies simultaneously.
By 2007 the requests for more wreaths grew. The Worcester family established the non-profit group Wreaths Across America™ .
By 2008 over 300 locations held wreath laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 over seas cemeteries. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans graves. Over 60,000 volunteers participated.
When we first signed up to participate, I really had no idea what to expect. This was our first “official” outing with our new Cub Scout Pack, but, Wreaths Across America isn’t necessarily a Cub Scout “thing.” Anyone can volunteer to place the wreaths and everyone is encouraged to sponsor a wreath. It’s an entire community event.
The morning started out foggy and the presentation of colors was was a little spooky. The fog cleared to a crystal blue San Diego sky. Anthony was given two wreaths to place. We have about four family members buried at Fort Rosecrans, so it was really nice that we could choose where to lay our wreath. We took a short hike down to where my father is buried.
This was the first time I had taken Anthony to the cemetery and it was really special to me.
We then laid a wreath at my Uncle George’s resting place.
When we walked back to the truck where our wreaths were, we learned that each boy only had two wreaths to place. Anthony was so disappointed because he wanted to place one on his great-grandma Jean. But heading back to the truck, we saw they were passing out extras to anyone who wanted to place more, so we grabbed an extra for Grandma Jean.
Sitting at Grandma Jean’s spot I told him the story of how my grandparents met. They were both serving in WWII and when PVT Hines became injured by shrapnel, Captain Fulton was his nurse. They later married and the history of me was born.
When we left, Anthony told me he wanted to join the Military one day so he could be a hero.
I was so proud.