Blue Star Mother Twice Over and Escort to Arlington Coordinator Shares Her Story
Wreaths Across America (WAA) is enacting a 21-Day Salute, recognizing groups and individuals who exemplify the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. The organization has a goal to place a wreath at every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery, but they have a dream that people across the country will share the mission of WAA for generations.
In 2006, Bunny and her husband John, both Patriot Guard Riders (PGR), traveled to Harrington, Maine, to help escort wreaths down to New Hampshire. The wreaths would ultimately make it to their final destination at Arlington National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America Day.
Each State’s PGR group along the route would meet at the state line, handing off the escort duty to the next state. Bunny and John, in their white Chevy truck, had made a banner, still in use today, and placed four flags on the vehicle. Once they arrived at Worcester Wreath Company, they were appointed to lead the escort to Freeport that evening, the first scheduled stop of the trip.
After reaching the New Hampshire state line, the couple volunteered to keep going. Awaiting them in Massachusetts were nearly 100 PGR motorcyclists there to escort the convoy. It was decided that year, for an event of this magnitude, there needed to be plans laid out and police involved helping make the trek easier for the public to participate in. The next summer, John planned the route, outlining hotels and contacting other Patriot Guard Riders to help with the escort. Bunny says, “The rest is history.”
Bunny describes how each piece of the WAA mission speaks to her:
Remember: My dad served in the Army. When I go to Arlington or a Soldier’s mission with the Patriot Guard Riders, I think about all the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our
Honor: I have two sons who serve today, and one or both have been deployed since John and I began doing the escort. I honor the families who stay behind to keep things as normal as can be with a loved one deployed. It is not easy. We honor those who continue to sign up and protect this country and our freedoms.
Teach: It is important to keep our children informed about the freedoms they enjoy and how they are able to have that freedom. Many children have loved ones in the Military that leave them for an extended period of time. While there are so many opinions of war, it is important to know that supporting a soldier is different than supporting a war.
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