Allen Cemetery will host a wreath-laying ceremony this Saturday, joining more than 1,600 other locations across the country for National Wreaths Across America (WAA) Day.
Coordinated and led in Allen by the Gen. Bernardo de Galvez chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Allen Chapter, fundraising groups have raised $1,710 for 114 wreaths. Ninety-five of those will be placed on all the headstones of fallen service members at the cemetery. Any additional wreaths were sent to the Dallas National Cemetery.
The theme for this year’s WAA events is “Everyone plays a part,” based on a recommendation by 10-year-old “Mighty” Miles Worcester, the grandson of the WAA founders. While in Washington D.C. last year for an event, Worcester saw a U.S. service member in uniform and thanked him for his service. The service member’s response was simple and impactful: “Thank you … everyone plays a part.”
Worcester went to his grandmother, WAA Executive Director Karen Worcester, to tell her he believed this statement would be the perfect theme because, as he said, “those serving in the military are doing their part, but it is our part as Americans to remember and honor them, and that’s what Wreaths Across America does,” according to WAA.
In 2018, nearly 1.8 million veteran wreaths were placed on headstones at 1,640 participating cemeteries around the country. In Allen, the DAR Allen chapter placed 88 wreaths and donated 26 more for other locations.
This year’s ceremony, which begins at noon Saturday, will welcome guest speakers City Councilman Chris Schulmeister and Air Force veteran and artist Colin Kimble.
Kimble, who is a member of the McKinney Veterans Board, has re-created 78 portraits of fallen heroes, which are on display in Collin County Courthouse. Kimble will highlight veterans who are buried at the cemetery.
“There’s a saying, and it really kind of captures my motivation, a soldier is never dead until he’s forgotten; and it’s my job to make sure these soldiers outlive all of us,” Kimble said in a release.
The Allen Cemetery is located at 400 E. McDermott Drive.