COLUMBIA FALLS — Wreaths Across America has announced that the theme for the 2018 event is “Be their witness.”
The inspiration for this year’s theme stems from the 2009 drama “Taking Chance,” which was based on the experiences of U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, who escorted the body of a fallen Marine, PFC Chance Phelps, back to his hometown in Wyoming from the Iraq War.
“I was deeply impacted by this story and found it difficult at times to fathom the burden this young man carried in his task,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “Lt. Col. Strobl volunteered to be a witness for PFC Phelps, and as the movie so eloquently states, he is now responsible in no small part for PFC Phelps’s legacy.
“Through the Wreaths Across America program, we are ensuring that the lives of our men and women in uniform are remembered, not their deaths. It is our responsibility as Americans, to be their witness and to share their stories of service and sacrifice with the next generation.”
This year, National Wreaths Across America will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15.
In 2017, more than 1.5 million veteran wreaths were placed on headstones at 1,422 participating cemeteries around the country.
National Wreaths Across America Day is a free event and open to all people.
For more information on how to volunteer or sponsor a wreath for a local hero, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.