This August, I had the opportunity to visit the tipping grounds where the Remembrance Wreaths that go all over our United States come from. With roughly 20 sections of trees in the Worcester tipping grounds dedicated to past service members from all conflicts, a sense of peace comes over you. The Veterans Remembrance Tree Program was established as another way to remember and honor our veterans. As Gold Star families visited the land where the balsam tips are harvested each year for the wreaths that are placed on veteran’s graves, they found a sense of peace and tranquility from the land. Wreaths Across America established a program to give them a living memorial to honor their lost loved ones.
“We created the Veteran Remembrance Tree Program because we wanted to find a way to recognize the fallen soldiers and their families in a more permanent way,” explains Karen Worcester, Executive Director of Wreaths Across America. “This endless forest is a truly visual representation of our unwavering commitment to our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach and to recognize our fallen soldiers and families this year and for many years to come.”
With all of this in mind, Sioux Center Wreaths Across America sponsored and tagged 15 trees in Section 16 for the 15 fallen members of our community that we specifically remember each Memorial Day. These men, while buried in different locations across the globe, will have their legacies continue to live on in Columbia Falls, Maine.
I've said this before and still believe it's true. What we do is more than simply decorating graves. It’s a silent message to all veterans, their families, and those currently serving that we will REMEMBER their service, we will HONOR their lives, and we will TEACH future generations the importance of citizenship and how our freedoms have been preserved over time.
In our day in age where it seems like the values of freedom are becoming less and less, I challenge you all to take the time on Saturday, December 17th to say the name of veteran and thank them for the opportunity to live in the Land of the Free. Thank you and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
Saying Their Names,
Aaron Van Beek | Director
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