The time is fast approaching for the 2021 (sixth annual) Chandler Wreaths Across America Day event, which will be held at the Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery. The event is scheduled for the third Saturday in December, which is Dec. 18 this year.
The Chandler event began and continues as an Exchange of Chandler; however, over the years, other organizations, such as the Chandler Elks Lodge #2429 and the Exchange Club of Phoenix, have become involved in the effort to honor and remember the approximately 2,800 veterans buried at the Valley of the Sun Cemetery. Last year, approximately 1,800 wreaths were sponsored. We will need help from the community to achieve the goal of sponsoring 2,800 wreaths.
The annual event consists of laying out the wreaths and a memorial ceremony. Volunteers will begin gathering around 8 or 8:30 a.m. (there will be coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts available). The laying of the wreaths will begin at 9 a.m. Each wreath symbolizes the commitment to remember and honor our nation’s veterans and teach our children about freedom and the sacrifice required to maintain our freedom. There will be an educational activity for children to help them learn about veterans. As wreaths are laid, we ask that the volunteers respectfully remember the veteran by saying the veteran’s name aloud. The formal ceremony will start at 10 a.m. and will be streamed on Facebook Live! Look for the ceremony on the Valley of the Sun, the Chandler Elks, and the Exchange Clubs of Chandler, and Phoenix Facebook pages.
Wreaths Across America got its start in 1992 when the Worcester Wreath Company had a surplus of 5,000 wreaths. The company sought and received permission to place the wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. It really took off in 2005 when a photograph of the wreaths on the snow-covered cemetery went viral. Wreaths Across America is now a national project. Last year, over 2.2 million veterans were remembered and honored with wreaths at 2,158 locations nationwide.
Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery has been proudly serving the Chandler and the East Valley of the Phoenix area since 1963. For more than 50 years, their commitment to the community and area veterans has been to provide respectful and caring service.
Between now and Nov. 30, we are asking for your help to achieve the goal of remembering and honoring every veteran at the Valley of the Sun Cemetery for the 2021 Wreaths Across America Day event. Individuals may sponsor a wreath for just $15. A Family Pack of four wreaths is $60, and a Small Business sponsorship is $150 for 10 wreaths. Go to www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/AZ0084P to sponsor wreaths.
For additional information, contact Mark Whitaker at [email protected] or call 703-447-7950.