Cathy Powers is running the countryside, visiting every state to raise funds to sponsor veterans’ wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery in December.
The program is called Wreaths Across America. Powers’ tour, “Running Fir Wreaths,” recently made a stop in West Plains to promote the program.
Powers, a Gold Star Mother, a member of an organization of American moms who have lost children in service to the U.S. military. Her goal is to run 1,000 miles in 50 states in honor of her son, Senior Airman Bryce Kenneth Powers, U. S. Air Force.
Missouri is the 17th state the North Carolina resident has visited and she has covered 454.2 miles to date.
Powers recently visited the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1828 in West Plains to present a wreath to the community. Her goal is to earn the support needed to sponsor 7,777 veterans’ wreaths.
The number, she said, is to honor each day that Bryce was alive.
Wreaths Across America is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2007 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 more than 1,600 participating veteran’s cemeteries and other location in all 50 state and overseas, according to the organization’s website
This year, National Wreaths Across America Day will be held Dec. 14.
In 2018, nearly 1.8 million veteran’s wreaths were place on headstones at 1640 participating cemeteries around the country in honor of the service and sacrifices made for American freedoms. Veteran’s names are said out loud as wreaths are placed in their honor.
At Arlington National Cemetery specifically, more than 60,000 volunteers placed wreaths on 253,000 headstones.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a commemorative wreath to be placed at Arlington Cemetery can visit Powers’ fundraising page, www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/VA777.
Readers can also follow Powers’ journey by following on Facebook or listening online at wreathsacrossamerica.org/radio.