Wreaths Across America gives public opportunity to acknowledge veteran’s

By Lori Dunn

Placing a wreath on a veteran’s grave is a simple act that also holds great symbolism.

Conway residents will be able to learn about the work and patriotism that goes into each of these wreaths when the Cadron Post Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution sponsors the Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit on April 19 at Antioch Baptist Church, 150 Amity Road.

The Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit will arrive in Conway on April 19.

The event is free and the hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend the exhibit. Local officials will speak at the event, and the Conway High School Junior ROTC Color Guard will perform. Among the speakers will be Faulkner County Judge Jim Baker. Donald Brazile of 501 LIFE Magazine will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem during the 10 a.m. opening ceremony.

Wreaths Across America (WAA) is the nonprofit organization known for placing wreaths on veterans’ headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. However, in 2021, the organization placed more than 2.4 million sponsored veteran’s wreaths at 3,100 locations nationwide, including ones in Arkansas. Having the exhibit in Conway is important to local members of the Cadron Chapter.

“Cadron Post Chapter is very honored to sponsor the Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit in Conway,” said Carol Rolf, registrar of the Cadron Post.

“This is a volunteer effort on our part and has taken a lot of hard work, but it will be well worth it to share this exhibit with the public. Once inside, visitors will be able to see storyboards and other visuals that highlight the mission, growth and programs that have grown due to the wreath-laying events. Visitors will be able to interact with the two WAA ambassadors that travel with the exhibit,” Rolf said.

“We hope the public will come out and see it. We have also invited school groups,” Rolf said.

Part of the exhibit will be a movie on how the wreaths are made by hand. According to information from WAA, each wreath is made from 10 evergreen bouquets. Each bouquet represents a characteristic of a veteran, such as belief in the greater good, strength and work ethic, and honesty and integrity.

The red bow placed on each wreath symbolizes the great sacrifice. Visitors to the April 19 event will have an opportunity to sponsor wreaths.

“The goal of the Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit is to bring community together and teach patriotism,  while remembering the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America, in a news release.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is a corporate sponsor of the event. DAR is a volunteer women’s service organization, with more than 185,000 members who seek to honor revolutionary ancestors and promote historic preservation and patriotism in their communities.