Friday, September 11e2020, Wreaths Across America calls on every American to stand outside and wave a flag for one minute at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m., and 10:03 a.m.
- To 8:46Tuesday, September 11e2001, five hijackers took control of American Airlines Flight 11 and sent it into the heart of New York and the north side of the North Tower of the World Trade Center (1 WTC).
- To 9:03five other hijackers flew United Airlines Flight 175 into the south facade of the South Tower (2 WTC).
- To 9:37five other hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the west facade of the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia
- To 10:03four hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 93 into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania
It’s fitting that the design of the wreath flag flying across America in the aftermath of 9/11 was done by three patriotic women from Maine (Elaine Greene, Joann Miller, and Carmen Foote). This is fitting because the original founding of the celebration was by another Maine resident, Morrill Worcester, in 1992.
They were moved to find an old American flag they had stored in their home and stood on a hill in Freeport, Maine, waving that flag to honor the victims. These women became known nationally as “The Freeport Flag Ladies” and proudly hoisted the Stars and Stripes every Tuesday morning for the next 18 years.
After retiring on 9/11, 2019 (their last memory of 9/11) the following Tuesday, September 17, 2019, Wreaths Across America took the helm and continued the weekly tradition of waving the flag along US Route 1 in Jonesboro , Maine, on land donated by the organization’s founder, Morrill Worcester, leading to the new Acadia National Cemetery.
Since then, Mr. Worcester has added a one-mile stretch of American flags (105 in total) to both sides of the road leading to the entrance to Acadia National Cemetery, which will be open to the public for the first time on Saturday August 29. , 2020. Mr Worcester has also donated the land for this new National Cemetery to be built in his home town.
“Every Tuesday we are joined by dozens of local community members and curious people who stop by to be a part of something meaningful,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America and wife of Morrill Worcester. . “Especially in the past six months, this flag has taken on new meaning for all of us and has given a spark of hope and patriotism during this difficult time in our country.”
Participants are encouraged to take videos and photos of their National Flag participation and share them with Wreaths Across America, family and friends to help remember, honor and teach the generation born after 9/11. , how difficult times can strengthen us. as a nation. Please use the hashtag #FlagsAcrosstheCountrthere and #AmericaStrong when posting on social media and tag the official Wreaths Across America Facebook page.
“My husband’s and the community’s commitment to mission and the continuation of this important weekly tradition has taken on the added meaning of American unity during this uncertain time,” Karen added. “I hope Americans see this as an opportunity to not only honor those directly affected by 9/11, but to follow in the footsteps of ‘The Freeport Flag Ladies.’
While surveying volunteer organizations in our own neighborhoods, I had the opportunity to speak with a volunteer who took the work of laying wreaths to heart. Just a few miles northwest of JFK Airport, in Cypress Hills is the Cypress Hills Cemetery. This is where Jose Martinez will lead a large group of volunteers to pay tribute to veterans and those killed in the 9/11 attack.
Jose’s story itself is inspiring. The year was 2009 when Jose, while a member of the Civil Air Patrol, heard about Wreaths Across America. He volunteered to cover Cypress Hills Cemetery during the wreath laying and subsequent ceremonies. The local WAA leader then appointed Jose as team leader of that location, by which time he had 7 volunteers. During this ceremony, a member of the public present at the event asked if he could comment. The speaker turned out to be a WWII veteran and after his impromptu speech there was not a dry eye in the audience.
The usual practice for decorating graves is to place wreaths on the headstones, along with the service color in which the veteran served; US Army, US Air Force, US Navy, US Marines and US Coast Guard.
Jose’s story is a testament to the hard work and time our citizens are willing to devote to honoring our country’s heroes. As a side benefit, he passes on this dedication to the volunteers, many of whom are young, whom he trains. He told me; “It’s time to give back to the country and the community that gave me so much.”
Wreaths Across America is the nonprofit organization best known for placing veterans’ wreaths on the headstones of our nation’s dead at Arlington National Cemetery. However, the organization, in total, places over 2 million sponsored wreaths in over 2200 participating locations nationwide.
You can sponsor a wreath for $15 at https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. Each sponsorship is for a new Balsam Veteran’s Wreath to be placed on the headstone of an American Hero as we strive to honor all Veterans laid to rest on Saturday, December 19, 2020, as part of National Memorial Day. crowns across America.