Wreaths Across America Observed By Bend Heroes Foundation
National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, Dec. 19 when over 2 million wreaths will be placed on veterans graves and at veterans memorials at 2,100 locations “Across America”: https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
The purpose of the national program is:
REMEMBER THE FALLEN,
HONOR THOSE WHO SERVE, and
TEACH OUR CHILDREN THE VALUE OF FREEDOM
Because of COVID-19 restrictions “sponsored” and “ceremonial” wreaths will not be placed on veterans graves and the veterans memorial in Greenwood Ceremony as in the past.
Seven “ceremonial” wreaths will be placed at Bend Heroes Memorial in Brooks Park at 2:30 pm, Friday, Dec. 18 by Rep. Cheri Helt and Dick Tobiason, founder of WAA in Bend 12 years ago.
The abbreviated and early ceremony at Bend Heroes Memorial will include the reading of President Ronald Reagan’s speech included in the standard script to be used “Across America”:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
The 7 “ceremonial” wreaths display a red ribbon, American flag and a military service flag on each wreath: Army, Navy, Marines, Merchant Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and POW/MIA. “Sponsored” wreaths that are placed on veterans graves display only the red ribbon – no flags. “Sponsored” means someone paid $15 for the wreath and the organization that sold the wreath and leads an event at a cemetery receives $5 of the $15. The $10 portion is retained by Worcester Wreaths of Maine to pay expenses.
“Sponsored” wreaths will be placed on all 267,000 veterans graves in Arlington National Cemetery. Included are 2 veterans from Bend laid to rest there: CPL Jessica Ellis and 1LT Justin Wilkens as well as several Medal of Honor recipients from Oregon.
Chairman, Bend Heroes Foundation
LTC US Army, Retired