COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine, Jan. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, millions of Americans come together to REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those that serve and their families, and TEACH the next generation about the value of freedom. This gathering of volunteers and patriots takes place in local and national cemeteries in all 50 states - most recently at more than 2,000 participating locations - as part of National Wreaths Across America Day. Each year, a new theme is chosen to help volunteers and supporters focus their messaging and outreach in their own communities. Today, the organization announces the theme for 2020 is "Be an American Worth Fighting For."
The inspiration for this year's theme came from a keynote address made by Staff Sgt. Daniel Strong during the 2018 escort to Arlington welcome stop at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School (Monty Tech) located in Fitchburg, Mass. As an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps, he lost 18 Marines during his service, three were his friends when he was a Lance Corporal, six as their Squad Leader and the remaining nine as their Platoon Sargent. Each impacted SSgt. Strong in a unique way as he witnessed first-hand what true sacrifice was and experienced the ripple effect it has on all involved.
His message that December day spoke to the daily importance of the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach, and the emotion is now teacher-ingrained in his JROTC students. "Be an American worth the sacrifice. In your daily operations, and in how you deal with one another and how you live your lives," said SSgt. Strong. "Those young men and women who are in Arlington National Cemetery and other cemeteries, they earned the right for you to be an American worth fighting for."
This sentiment speaks volumes as more United States military are deploying to serve and fight, if needed, to protect the freedoms we enjoy as American citizens. Each of them, playing their part so that we too can play ours back home by being an active participant in our communities.
In 2019, approximately 2.2 million veteran wreaths were placed on headstones at 2,158 participating locations around the country in honor of the service and sacrifices made for our freedoms, with each name said out loud.
This year, National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, December 19, 2020. It is always a free event and open to all people. For more information on how to volunteer locally or sponsor a wreath for a hero, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
About Wreaths Across America Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization's mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans' cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.