A Message from Our Chairman: Michelle Creveling–January 2014
Thank you to everyone who supported Palo Verde’s Wreaths Across America program. On Saturday, December 14th, eight of us gathered to represent Palo Verde Republican Women in honoring our American Veteran heroes and their families.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne gave the address. A memorial wreath was laid out for each of the services. The Honors Ceremony closed with the Missing Man Table.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the ceremony, a table is set for six; the empty chairs represent Americans who were or are missing from each of the services: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard and civilians.
The cloth is white symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve. A single red rose, set at each place, remembers the lives of these Americans and their loved ones and friends, who keep the faith.
A red ribbon symbolizes our continued determination to account for them. A slice of lemon reminds us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land, and a pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families.
A lighted candle reflects our hope; the Bible represents the strength gained through faith in our country, founded as one nation under God.
An inverted glass symbolizes their inability to share a toast. It is a very moving ceremony.
Our Club purchased 55 wreaths, 48 of which honored veterans at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona and seven veterans at various cemeteries around the United States, including veterans of the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. We honored one POW, Captain Richard “Richie” Haven Van Dyke, who not only gave his life for his Country, he endured the hardships of capture. Other veterans honored included: Philip A. Bonafede, Henry Jesserson Bridges, George R. “DOC” Cavalliere, H. Eugene Heine, Mauro Luci, Vincent J. Natoli, Lorraine Pagnotta, Col. Albert Rodriguez, Col. Cecil C. Snoddy, Jr., and Everette B. Stephenson.
Every Veteran is an American Hero regardless of their role in defending our freedom. The call to duty and the willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice is a debt we as a Nation can never repay. We are honored to remember them. We have much so to be thankful for.
Photos from December 2013
Palo Verde Republican Women is proud to support “Wreaths Across America.” If you are interested in participating in this worthy cause please contact Michelle Creveling at email@example.com.
Wreaths Across America’s mission to “Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies a specified Saturday in December at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.” They “also organize a week of events including international veteran’s tributes, ceremonies at State Houses and a week-long ‘Veteran’s Parade’ between Maine and Virginia where they stop along the way to spread their message about the importance of remembering our fallen heroes, honoring those who serve, and teaching our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.”
The group’s activities are “made possible by thousands of volunteers who organize local ceremonies, raise funds to sponsor wreaths, and participate in the events. We receive no government funding. The cost of our programs is paid by individual wreaths sponsors, corporate donors and volunteer truckers.”
For more information, please visit: http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/