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.
"We have a dedicated group of compassionate people who come together to help military veterans," Rebecca explains. "If someone reaches out to us and says 'hey we need help getting a veteran's roof shingled' then we try to get it done."
“Every year we have so many professional drivers, bikers, police officers and other first responders, ask us how they can get involved, even if they can’t transport wreaths,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America.
"There are a lot of similarities between the military and the trucking industry," Rob explains. "I think that's why you see a lot of veterans successful as truck drivers."
Johnny Vet: Freedom Isn’t Free is a dynamic and inspirational musical journey of the men and women who have fought the nation’s wars and how those same men and women, as veterans, have helped to shape the nation and its destiny.
"History can be studied in many ways, and it's important to do so for a contextual understanding of the journey taken by an individual, organization, or nation."
"It's heart-wrenching to see that and participate in that, Rick shares. "To see all the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, and uncles waiting there to have a wreath to place on their family member's headstone, there are just no words for it, none."
"We're just Moms who serve through the organization to make sure that our children's names and lives are not forgotten."
From our standpoint, it's a relatively small thing to do, and we're proud to be a part of the mission."
"With NFI managing the logistics, the sky is the limit. They will help make the entire operation more efficient,” said Debbie Sparks, Director Corporate Development and Community Relations, Wreaths Across America.
Luann started her volunteer efforts with Wreaths Across America in 2015 after hearing about it from a friend who was participating with her DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) group. She's working to sponsor wreaths to cover all of the known heroes laid to rest at Oaklawn.
"I always choose our drivers who are military veterans for these loads and they are proud and honored to have the opportunity to recognize our fallen heroes and their families."
In referencing the Wreaths Across America Stem to Stone Remembrance Tree program Roger spoke to the value and necessity of "planting seeds of patriotism" in younger generations.