Winchester Wreaths Across America Ceremony Adjusted Amid COVID-19 Challenges
WINCHESTER, Va. (Oct 28, 2020) –The Winchester Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the site coordinator for the annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony at Winchester National Cemetery, announced changes to this year’s event. The Wreaths Across America’s mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach, continues as volunteers have worked to comply with local COVID-19 restrictions. Thanks to assistance from local health and safety officials, necessary amendments will be implemented. The decision was made to hold a private ceremony on Friday, December 18th that will be viewed by the public on facebook.com/winchestervacap.
First Lieutenant Noel Morrison, the Winchester unit’s commander, shared, “It is after tremendous thought and many hours of discussion that the coordinators for Wreaths Across America at Winchester National Cemetery made the difficult decision to forego our wreath placement for 2020 and roll our wreath count into 2021. The health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance, along with recognizing the financial toll the recent pandemic has had on local businesses, families, and individuals. Winchester is a strong, resilient community and while this year’s Wreaths Across America may look different than years past, we know the community will come back in 2021 stronger and ready to work toward full wreath coverage for all of the veterans laid to rest at Winchester National Cemetery.”
In lieu of a wreath placement, the Winchester National Cemetery WAA team encourages the community to fulfill the mission of remembering and honoring our veterans by heading out to Winchester National Cemetery and participating in a virtual “Say Their Name” project. During the month of December, we ask for volunteers to go to the cemetery and record themselves saying the names of the veterans laid to rest, then upload the video to social media with the hashtag #SayTheirNamesWNC.
While at the cemetery, we ask volunteers to remember health and safety guidelines of social distancing and face coverings. Remember, you are on hallow grounds, be mindful of other visitors in the cemetery, and respectful of any internments that may be taking place.
Locally, fundraising continues toward the goal of full coverage of over 5,561 veterans’ wreaths needed to honor every servicemember laid to rest at Winchester National Cemetery in 2021.
Wreath sponsorships are only $15, and can be sponsored directly at www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org/VAWNCW. There are over 17 sponsorship groups supporting this cemetery. These groups represent local civic, youth, and veteran organizations giving back within the community, and any sponsorships raised through these groups this year will benefit them now, when greatly needed, through the $5 back program.
“Every $15 wreath sponsorship is a meaningful gift from a grateful American who knows what it means to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “Whether the wreath is placed this December, or next, know that your gift will be honored. We are so grateful to the good people of this great nation for participating in our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.”
To stay informed about changes to Wreath Day events in your community or to sponsor a wreath for a local hero, please visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org/VAWNCW.
For More Information:
Maj Jacob Bixler, CAP