WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA — “Serve and Succeed”
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, state, and national cemeteries in all 50 states – most recently at three cemeteries in the Town of Somers – as part of National Wreaths Across America Day. “Serve and Succeed.”
The inspiration for the 2023 theme “Serve and Succeed” came while discussing the significance of 2022’s theme, which was “Find a Way to Serve,” and the need to continue to stress the importance of service and the positive ways it can impact lives.
Wreaths Across America plans to focus on the storylines of veterans and military families who have found success through their own service, while also highlighting local volunteers across the country and the success that comes from serving their communities. “There are many ways to serve your community and country, and just as many definitions of success,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “We hope through focusing on those stories of success we will help change the dialogue around what it means to serve your country.”
“Everyone who has served our country has a story about their special contributions during their period of service and what their service meant to them, their family and friends and coworkers, said David McCaffrey, Director, Somers Department of Veterans Affairs. We strive to honor and validate each service member, encouraging them to share their stories and to continue volunteering for the benefit and success of their communities.”
Please help to honor our military, keep them alive through storytelling, and have those no longer with us recognized each year by purchasing wreaths or donating your time to the Wreaths Across America mission.
In 2022, more than 400 wreaths were placed by volunteers on headstones/footstones in Somers’ cemeteries in honor of the service and sacrifices made for our freedoms, with each name said out loud. You, too, can be a Wreaths Across America volunteer, helping year-round to ensure military laid to rest are remembered, their families and living veterans are honored, and the next generation is taught about the value of freedom.
Are you up for the challenge of purchasing at least 1,500 wreaths this year???? The goal again this year is to place a wreath on every service member’s grave in all three cemeteries in Somers – North, Center, and West. At best estimate, there are at least 2000 veterans buried in Somers Cemeteries — unfortunately not all graves are marked. In 2022, 350 wreaths were placed by volunteers in all three cemeteries, including 90 free wreaths picked up in West Haven from a group that received too many.
- 240 wreaths placed in Center Cemetery
- 60 placed in West Cemetery
- 50 placed in North Cemetery
- 1500 is needed for the three cemeteries.
This year, National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, December 16, 2023. It is a free event and open to all people. Somers Dept. of Veterans Affairs will be hosting the ceremony at 12:00 PM at the Center Cemetery, 81 Battle St., Somers, CT 06071. For more information on how to volunteer locally or sponsor a wreath for an American hero, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/CT0131P – Group Name: Town of Somers Cemeteries. To follow stories throughout the year from across the country focused on this theme, please use the hashtag #ServeAndSucceed.