Foundation honors veterans on Wreaths Across America Day 2021
On Dec. 18, 2021, national Wreaths Across America Day, the CGSC Foundation helped honor veterans’ graves at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery with wreaths of remembrance.
The Foundation’s goal in 2021 was to honor all 900 veterans buried in Section N of the cemetery. – The Foundation achieved that goal with 921 wreaths sponsored. Combined with efforts of other participating organizations and individuals, Sections N and M of the cemetery were completely covered with wreaths this year.
Around 9:30 a.m., under a cloudy sky and temperatures below freezing, the wreaths were delivered by Walmart trucks that entered the cemetery led by Post 56 VFW Riders on their motorcycles. The Riders and trucks entered the cemetery under a large flag draped from the raised ladders of the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department trucks. A small group of volunteers off-loaded the trucks and staged the wreaths in the cemetery for other volunteers to place after the ceremony.
The Wreaths Across America Day ceremony began at 11 a.m. at the flag pole in the cemetery. This year’s ceremony included the presentation of colors by a JROTC color guard, the pledge of allegiance led by a Boy Scout, and remarks from Diana Pitts, the Wreaths Across America coordinator for the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. After Pitt’s remarks, there was a presentation of memorial wreaths for each of the armed services at the base of the flag pole, followed by a three-volley rifle salute and the playing of taps (this year we had bagpipers as well). After taps, all the volunteers present were given directions where to begin laying wreaths.
After all the wreaths were laid, the CGSC Foundation hosted a reception for volunteers with hot drinks and snacks at the Frontier Army Museum which is nearby the cemetery.
“I want to thank everyone that sponsored a wreath through the CGSC Foundation for this year,” said CGSC Foundation President/CEO Rod Cox. “We now begin our campaign for 2022, because the effort to honor our veterans never ends.”
Next year’s national Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022.
According to Foundation Director of Operations Lora Morgan, the national headquarters of Wreaths Across America has announced a matching campaign as a way to jump start efforts for next year.
“Wreaths Across America national headquarters will match any wreaths sponsored from now through through Friday, Jan. 14, 2022,” Morgan said. “The wreaths have to be purchased through a a registered WAA Sponsorship Group – like the CGSC Foundation, so please visit our Wreaths Across America website and help us double the effort for 2022.”
The CGSC Foundation’s WAA site is – https://wreathsacrossamerica.org/KS0101P
According to WAA’s director of communications, the 2021 Wreaths Across America effort was able to honor 2.4 million veterans at 3,136 participating cemeteries and other locations across the country, including the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.