Navy Mutual’s headquarters is located along the edge of Arlington National Cemetery. The rows of headstones are a daily reminder of the sacrifice made by our country’s service members and their families for the freedoms Americans cherish today.
While Navy Mutual staff usually gather with volunteers in Arlington National Cemetery to lay wreaths, this year will look different due to COVID-19. This year, the 265,000 wreaths will be placed by soldiers from the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and The Old Guard in the week leading up to National Wreaths Across America Day on Saturday, December 19. Volunteers at over 2,100 additional locations around the United States, at sea, and abroad will do the same at their local cemeteries.
Team members from the Wreaths Across America organization will be permitted to place wreaths in a small section of the cemetery on December 19 and broadcast the event for the public to experience; streaming will begin at 9:00 a.m. If you are interested in watching, you can do so here. If you are interested in volunteering by sponsoring a wreath to honor a veteran, you can do so here.
Each year, this day is organized by Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 with a simple mission: “Remember. Honor. Teach.” In addition to its wreath-laying campaign, Wreaths Across America also honors veterans in other ways. The “Thanks a Million” campaign allows people to write thank-you notes to veterans around the country. Outreach programs encourage student and youth groups to participate in wreath-laying and letter-writing campaigns. Memorial events are also held at Pearl Harbor and the Pentagon each year.
We are sure that the mission of Wreaths Across America will be clearly demonstrated at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday. In years past, we have seen wreath-layers saying the names of the fallen or placing a coin on a headstone, and others sharing stories of loved ones. While Navy Mutual staff will miss being on site for this event, we are honored to sponsor wreaths for this unique event that serves to recognize those who served our country and honor the sacrifice they and their families made.
We are thankful for all those who have answered the call to serve the United States. On National Wreaths Across America Day, and every day, we remember those who have fallen and honor those who continue to serve. We will never forget.
Arlington National Cemetery has grown since its founding in 1864 and continues to expand to provide space for those who wished to be interred on its hallowed grounds. For more information on eligibility for burial at Arlington National Cemetery, click here.