10:57 AM

CAP to Salute Nation's Fallen with Wreath Across America Observances

It’s an annual holiday tradition for Civil Air Patrol – an opportunity to ceremoniously place fresh balsam remembrance wreaths from Maine on the gravesites of U.S. military veterans as a tribute to their service and sacrifice.

Saturday, in observance of Wreaths Across America, CAP senior members and cadets will join other volunteers nationwide in honoring the nation’s fallen.

“We’re extremely proud to be a major partner with Wreaths Across America,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP national commander and CEO. “The initiative is a heartfelt way to remember, honor and teach others about our heroes — goals that mirror CAP’s devotion.

“We are truly honored to be a part of it.”

Last year, grateful Americans placed 1.8 million wreaths at 1,640 national cemeteries and war memorials — from Hawaii's Punchbowl to snow-covered sites in the upper Midwest to a Civil War battlefield in Georgia to the poppy fields of Normandy, France.

At Arlington National Cemetery, where Wreaths Across America began in 2007, nearly 60,000 rain-soaked volunteers placed 253,000 wreaths, enough to cover the marble headstones of every hero buried there.

On Saturday, those gestures will be repeated and likely surpassed at national cemeteries and war memorials across the country and even abroad.

Smith will represent Civil Air Patrol at Arlington National Cemetery, where he will place a wreath at the CAP Memorial. He will be accompanied by members of CAP’s Mid-Atlantic Region.

Thousands of other service-minded CAP members will also be involved in hundreds of other national cemeteries and memorials, placing wreaths purchased by members of the community, presenting the colors, conducting ceremonies and delivering orations.

Over 400 CAP squadrons from each of CAP’s 52 wings as well as some overseas CAP units are participating this year.

“Our members are a show of force on this special day,” Smith said. “They mark the day with all the pomp, circumstance and patriotism befitting such a tribute.”

More information is available at Wreaths Across America's website or the Arlington Wreaths Facebook page.