By Harley Nefe
The Daniel Boone Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) is partnering with Wreaths Across America this year, and both groups are preparing for the upcoming National Wreaths Across America Day on December 18.
The Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King designating Saturday, December 18, 2021 as Wreaths Across America Day.
“Wreaths Across America is a powerful demonstration of respect and appreciation for our veterans – both those that we’ve lost and those still with us,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We are so proud that this heartfelt expression of gratitude originated in our great state and has become an enduring symbol of our nation’s gratitude for veterans’ valor and sacrifice. This resolution remembers and honors America’s veterans this holiday season, while also teaching younger generations of the sacrifices that have been made to secure our freedoms and to defend our liberty.”
National Wreaths Across America Day will take place at over 3,000 participating locations nationwide with thousands of volunteers being involved. Currently, nearly 1,000 Daughters of the American Revolution Chapters participate in the annual wreath laying event at their local level, including Boone’s chapter of NSDAR, which will involve several members traveling down to Salisbury to place wreaths at the National Cemetery.
“We’ve been involved with Wreaths Across America in the past, but we have never gone to lay the wreaths down before, so this is the first time for us to be selected to do that,” said Donna McNeil, Regent of Daniel Boone Chapter NSDAR.
Boone’s chapter of NSDAR has been reaching out to the community to help raise funds for some of the wreaths that will be placed at the National Cemetery in Salisbury as well as the Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC.
“We put it out to all of our members with the forms, and we were also on the Wreaths Across America site, so people could actually choose our chapter to donate to,” McNeil explained. “And the way it works is we get a portion of the funds from each wreath sold.”
So far, members have been able to raise the funds for 50 wreaths.
“Wreaths Across America will now make the delivery, and then we will go out there to Salisbury, and we will help lay wreaths,” said Rachelle Jones, Treasurer of Daniel Boone Chapter NSDAR.
Boone’s chapter of NSDAR has been taking orders on behalf of those in North Carolina who would like to honor any Veteran and their service to the United States and fellow Americans.
“We thank our Veterans, of course, for their service, and we thank our community,” Jones said. “Part of the reason why people participate in Wreaths Across America is because it’s about not forgetting those people.”
Jones also mentioned how touching of an experience it is to participate in laying the wreaths.
“It’s also important for the families who like to go out regularly to the cemetery and for them to see their loved ones fully remembered,” she said.
Anybody is welcome to volunteer to participate in the wreath-laying event; it is not exclusive to just members of the organizations. To sign up, interested participants should visit https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/ for directions on how to register.
“You can sign up a family; you can sign up a church; you can sign up yourself. You can do whatever you would like,” Jones described. “People are more than welcome!”
Donna McNeil also invites everyone to visit Boone’s chapter of NSDAR’s website at https://www.ncdar.org/DanielBooneChapter_files/ or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Daniel-Boone-Chapter-NSDAR-1653213041611617 to learn more about the organization.
The Boone chapter of NSDAR has been around for 55 years now, as it was organized on October 16, 1966 by a group of women who met to honor their Revolutionary ancestors.The chapter’s objectives were and continue to be historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership.
“We are excited to be a part of our community,” McNeil said. “We love Boone!”
She also said that Boone’s chapter of NSDAR is planning to continue partnering with Wreaths Across America next year.
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 at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
The National Vice Chair of Daughters of the American Revolution Brenda Kaesler said in a statement, “The DAR mission and WAA mission closely align: HISTORIC PRESERVATION = Remember, PATRIOTISM = Honor, EDUCATION = Teach. We move forward each other’s mission/purpose. WAA is a huge supporter of DAR; they encourage us to promote DAR through our relationship with them. Because the more people we touch with our shared mission, the more this country can grow into the proud and patriotic country for which our Patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.”
The Daniel Boone Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution encourages individuals, families, service organizations, and veteran support organizations to join them in honoring and remembering all of those who have served. Donations can be made directly here at https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/41705/Overview/?relatedId=16698 or by contacting Chapter Treasurer Rachelle Jones at [email protected].