Summer is nearly over and with each passing day, we get closer to National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 18. The CGSC Foundation and other volunteers in the community have been promoting the effort to honor veterans at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery all year long.
The Foundation’s initial goal is to honor all 900 veterans buried in Section N of the cemetery, but the larger goal is to inspire enough people to place a wreath on every grave – more than 23,000 – in the cemetery.
The efforts in our community are not unlike those in other communities all around the nation. The National Wreaths Across America (WAA) effort is ongoing in more than 2,500 locations. Memorial Day in the spring and Veterans Day in the fall are special times, but we also know that the holiday season in December is an equally special time for families and others to come together and remember their departed loved ones who served our nation. The Wreaths Across America effort is intended to give all of us the opportunity to remember those that served, honor them, and teach others about their service and sacrifices. The wreaths placed on the graves of our veterans are a powerful symbol and offers us the chance to stand in front of a veteran’s tombstone, say their name out loud and place a wreath in their honor. For that short period of time, that veteran and their memories can come alive again.
Jill Harris, a WAA volunteer for the Crownsville National Cemetery in Crownsville, Md., shared a video message with her thoughts about Wreaths Across America – marveling at just how many participating locations and volunteers that work in support of this worthy effort. View the video here…and join us by sponsoring a wreath this year.
The CGSC Foundation encourages all friends, family, staff, faculty, students and alumni of CGSC and the CGSC Foundation to sponsor a wreath to honor the veterans buried at Fort Leavenworth. For more information and to sponsor a wreath, visit the Foundation’s Wreaths Across America site by clicking the link below.
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) 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 – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
The Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery was established in 1862 as one of 14 national cemeteries at that time. Today the cemetery has more than 23,000 graves of veterans representing every conflict since 1812. Notable veterans buried at Fort Leavenworth include Captain James Allen, 1st U.S. Dragoons, who died in August 1846. Allen’s is the oldest known military grave in the cemetery. Also, the remains of Brigadier General Leavenworth, the fort’s namesake, were disinterred from Woodland Cemetery in Delhi, N.Y., and reinterred in the national cemetery on Memorial Day in 1902. Nine Medal of Honor recipients are also buried there, including Capt. Thomas W. Custer, brother of Lt. Col. George Custer. Thomas received the Medal of Honor twice while serving in the U.S. Army, Company B, 6th Michigan Cavalry; first for capturing the flag at Namozine Church, Virginia, on May 3, 1865, and second for actions at Sailor’s Creek, Virginia, April 1865. Custer died in 1876.