Wreaths Across America Presents Kid's Corner

The three objectives of the Wreaths Across America mission are to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who currently serve, and teach younger generations the value of freedom. It’s that last objective that most would agree is vital. President Ronald Reagan may have said it best when he said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

More and more families participate with Wreaths Across America in wreath-laying ceremonies across the country, and about a third of the organizations’ volunteers are young people. In a new monthly feature called Kid’s Corner, Wreaths Across America is recognizing youth volunteers who step up to do their part, making sure no hometown hero is forgotten. You can read about their efforts in our monthly newsletter, hear more of their actual interview on Wreaths Radio on Friday mornings, and check out some of their photos on our Facebook pages.

Antonya Prior, who goes by Tony, is a high school sophomore in Indiana. Tony has been attending Wreaths Across America wreath-laying events with her Grandma since she was in 4th grade, and now she’s a dedicated volunteer. She shares one of her first memories. I remember seeing some of the faces of the veterans as we were laying wreaths and they seemed so excited. They got excited to speak with my Gram and me; it was just fun.”

It was when Tony was in 8th grade when she learned the Indiana Veterans Home Cemetery did not have enough veterans’ wreaths to cover every headstone. That’s when she and her family brainstormed ways they could raise money to sponsor more wreaths. The desire to help came naturally to Tony. “My great-grampa had just died in July of that year, and I was thinking what if it was my great-grandpa who didn’t have a wreath because they didn’t have enough money. I knew it was the best way to honor him and the other veterans.”

In addition to volunteering with Wreaths Across America, Tony is “very competitive” and enjoys soccer and track. She’s also part of her school’s Buddie’s Club which is a program that matches up general education with special education students for fun activities and positive mentoring.

Thanks, Tony, for helping us remember, honor, and teach. You can hear more from our Kid’s Corner interviews in our Kid’s Corner special reports at 9:15 AM EST on Fun Fridays during the Wreaths Across America Radio Morning Show.