Nov. 28 is the last day to sponsor a wreath for a veteran or first responder’s headstone as part of the 2023 Wreaths Across America project. The nonprofit organization Wreaths Across America (WAA) is best known for placing wreaths on veteran’s headstones at Arlington National Cemetery but this simple act combined with its mission to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach the next generation the value of freedom has far reaching effects.
Thanks to the efforts of Kathy Cave Wells, former Regent of the Robert Raines Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and now Second Vice-President, Grimes County residents don’t have far to travel to remember, honor and teach. In 2021, Navasota’s Oakland Cemetery was designated as one of few Texas cemeteries selected to conduct a wreath laying ceremony. This year’s ceremony will be held Saturday, Dec. 16, at 11 a.m.
Wells said, “We allow people to sponsor wreaths for other cemeteries. The wreaths can be picked up after the ceremony on WAA Day.”
How it began
WAA was founded in Maine more than 25 years ago by Worcester Wreath Company owners Morrill and Karen Worcester when the couple found themselves with a “surplus of wreaths” and placed them in an older, less frequently visited part of Arlington National Cemetery. What began as a simple gesture of respect grew into an annual tradition and volunteers from organizations like the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars began lending a hand. The annual laying of wreaths went on quietly until 2005 when a photo of the snow-covered graves adorned with wreaths went viral. In 2007, WAA became a 501(c)(3) organization and with the help of even more volunteers and sponsors, the organization was able to begin sending wreaths to every state.
How to sponsor
Wreaths are $17 and may be sponsored singly or in multiples and generically or for a specific grave or cemetery, through the local Robert Raines Chapter of the NSDAR at www. wreathsacrossamerica.org/ TX0978P, or through the Pocahontas Society Children of the American Revolution at www.wreathsacrossamerica. org/TX0979P.
The Grimes County Historical Commission is another group promoting wreath sponsorships at www.wreathsacrossamerica. org/TX0998.
If your group would like to officially support wreath sponsorships, or you would like information about sponsoring a wreath at a cemetery outside of Grimes County, email Grimes County coordinator Kathy Cave Wells at www. wreathsacrossamericagrimescotx@ gmail.com.
To become a wreath sponsor, click on a QR code to go directly to the Wreaths Across America website.