Dane Farmer tried for two years to be involved with Wreaths Across America to place wreaths at the renowned Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. In October, she finally got the opportunity.
“I had been accepted and they e-mailed my ticket to get in,” Farmer said. “It’s all volunteer through Wreaths Across America.”
Arlington National Cemetery is a military cemetery with around 400,000 cemetery plots across more than 600 acres.
The stoic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was among the experiences Farmer won’t forget.
“It’s a very prestigious opportunity (for the military member who guards the Tomb),” Farmer said. “The military is very structured with it and has a lot of respect they show to that one Tomb. It’s one Tomb that represents all.”
The men that protect the Tomb of the Unknown Solider live beneath it.
Every Christmas, volunteers for Wreaths Across America unload 60 trucks with around 5,000 wreaths in each truck at the Cemetery. Some plots do not get wreaths due to religious/cultural beliefs.
Volunteers in one hour increments take a wreath to a grave, recite the soldier’s name and accomplishments, and place the wreath at a 45-degree angle.
“This is just the most awesome thing I’ve ever done,” Farmer said. “I wish everyone would get an opportunity to do this.”
Farmer, who has lived in Pampa since 1994 and teaches special education at Pampa Junior High, was especially honored to have the opportunity as her family has an extensive military background.
“All of the men on my side of the family served in the military,” Farmer said. “So I’m very passionate about stuff like this. What’s upsetting to me is some of the disrespect I see toward the military.”
Farmer added that she saw families educating their younger members as to why it’s important to show respect to the military.
For more information on Wreaths Across America, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
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