In service to God and their country, the Four Chaplains selflessly gave their lives together during World War II in a heroic act of courage and fellowship that would transcend time and serve as a guiding example of cooperation for the greater good, without regard to cultural or religious differences.
Wreaths Across America (WAA) celebrates its mission to remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach younger generations the value of freedom with the Four Chaplains Remembrance Service and tree dedication on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at 2 p.m. at the Balsam Valley Chapel, located in Jonesboro, Maine.
You’re welcome to join WAA as the group pays homage to the valor and sacrifice of these military men and the crew of the U.S.A.T. Dorchester in the newly constructed, non-denominational Balsam Valley Chapel.
Directly following the service provided by local participating Chaplains a tree will be dedicated to the Four Chaplains as part of WAA’s, Stem to Stone program. Replica dog tags in honor of Chaplains Lt. George Fox, Lt. Alexander John Goode, Lt. Clark Poling, and Lt. John Washington, as well as a dog tag representing the crew of the U.S.A.T. Dorchester will be placed.
Tips from the Four Chaplains tree will be among those harvested every three years to produce fresh balsam remembrance wreaths for placement in Arlington National Cemetery and at more than 1,235 participating cemeteries across the nation and overseas.
Bill admits he too was "hooked" on the effort to remember, honor, and teach as soon as he saw a fresh, hand-made remembrance wreath laying against the headstone of a fallen hero over the holidays.
Peter stands 16.3 hands tall and was selected as a Caisson Platoon horse because of his color, size, focus, and behavior. Those who met Peter at his Open House on St. Patrick's Day were amazed at his size and docile temperament with one woman referring to him as a "gentle giant."
"It doesn't all happen in Arlington. It's all across the country, and perhaps you could start your involvement in your hometown and involve your family so people can see just how important trucking is to the mission.
"It makes these drivers feel good about themselves, it makes them feel good about their companies, it makes them feel good about their country and being Americans. They're so proud and when you've got all those things working in the same direction that's a win-win for everybody."
"I've seen the pictures of course," Don explains. "It's just not the same to see every-day people not affiliated with Wreaths Across America in any other way would take the effort to buy a fresh flag and stand outside of their home or office in the freezing drizzle and show their pride as an American as we drove through was heart-warming."
Indeed it was the joyous voices of children singing on a snowy morning in December last year at Kennebunk High School during the Annual Wreath Escort to Arlington National Cemetery that gave rise to the 2017 Wreaths Across America theme, "I'm an American."
Placing fresh, hand-made balsam remembrance wreaths on the headstones of veterans across the country in December requires tremendous logistics and unyielding support from the trucking industry.
Wreaths Across America shows its gratitude and appreciation for all those involved in transporting America's respect with "Trucking Tributes." These stories will introduce you to the men and women of the industry who make our mission possible like Steven Meyer and Arpin Van Lines.
"Wreaths Across America has been a part of my life that has assisted in my healing from the loss of my oldest son," Diana explains. "It allows me to "give back" in his memory and service." Read more about Diana's volunteer service in Kansas and how you can get involved too in our mission to remember, honor, and teach.
"All Michael ever wanted to do is join the military and serve the country," explains Gold Star Dad and professional driver Mike Stansbery. Michael Jr. was killed in Iraq in 2010. In this video, you can see how the Stansbery's have been able to honor Michael from Stem to Stone.
"When the ship was opened up by a German U-Boat torpedo it began to take on water and sink. Witnesses report that through the pandemonium four Army Chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness." Read about WAA's tree dedication to the Four Chaplains here.
Despite freezing rain, an estimated 44,000 volunteers placed 245,000 remembrance wreaths, and many hands on January 28th will make quick work of picking up those wreaths. Details Here.
Wreaths Across America launched its inaugural Living History Project in December of 2016 with the support of stalwart volunteers who believe similarly as Col. Frank Blazich Jr. that "if you don't know where you've been then it's difficult to know where you're going." See video here.