Traveling Wreaths Across America exhibit makes stop in Wheeling
WHEELING — Local residents were provided a special opportunity to honor America’s veterans Wednesday, as Wreaths Across America’s Mobile Education Exhibit made a stop at Wheeling Park.
Hosted by the local George Washington chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, the mobile exhibit builds community awareness and understanding of the Wreaths Across America mission.
The WAA takes great pride in its mission — which is to remember, honor, and teach about the services and sacrifices of our nation’s military.
Gary Timmons, past president of the local Pennsylvania chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, who was on site greeting visitors at an informational booth, said their organization’s mission is very similar to WAA’s mission.
“It’s something very special,” Timmons commented.
WAA representative Stefan Brann said they are trying to do public outreach and spread their mission statement.
In addition to educational displays inside the large trailer, the exhibit offers a small area where visitors can view a 12-minute video about the WAA.
“It’s just a moving experience for everybody that comes on,” Brann commented.
One local veteran, who declined to provide his name, said the exhibit is amazing and he appreciates what they are doing. He said he believes we need more education in our communities, especially in the schools and with local youth, about the history of the tremendous service and sacrifice veterans made and continue to make for our country.
Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies over the holiday season at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. This year’s Wreaths Across America Day is scheduled for December 19..
The exhibit provides visitors a first-hand account of what it is like to deliver 2.5 million Wreaths over the holiday season and learn how it impacts families all across America. Additionally, the exhibit brings local communities and our military together with education, stories and interactive connections.
“The goal of the Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit is to build community awareness and understanding of the organization’s year-long mission to remember, honor, teach,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.
“However, in light of the current health crisis, we feel this exhibit has taken on even more meaning by providing the opportunity for people to safely participate in something with safety measures in place that is both educational and fun, while supporting and giving back to the community during this uncertain time,” Worcester added.
The event is presented with social distancing, sanitation and COVID-19 safety procedures in place to protect the health of all visitors in accordance with the CDC’s recommendation for large gatherings stemming from concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, according to organizers.