“Our mission is: remember, honor, teach,” said Catherine Ferreira, a volunteer with Wreaths Across America.
Ferreira said it’s important to remember those who served and to honor those who’ve fallen — but also necessary to teach younger generations what the ultimate sacrifice means.
“Freedom isn’t free,” Ferreira said. “The incredible benefits and privileges that we have here in this wonderful country are because of the many generations of service members who have served this country.”
This will be the 25th year for the wreath-laying tradition.
When the monumental task is done and the wreaths all laid, Ferreira said, the emotional impact is “overwhelming” to family members who visit the graves.
“These families understand that we’re a grateful nation,” Ferreira said.
The wreath-laying tradition that began at Arlington now happens about 1,200 cemeteries across the nation.
To help observe National Wreaths Across America Day and highlight the charity’s need for help locally, the Capital Wheel at National Harbor will light up like a wreath at the beginning of every evening hour through Sunday.
“We are extremely grateful to the Peterson family and the Peterson Companies for this incredible opportunity to show these families and all who have served our appreciation for their service to our nation,” Ferreira added in an email about the Capitol Wheel lighting.
Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.