The military community, veterans, families, and citizens of the National Capital Region came together and volunteered their time after 3,000 wreaths to be placed on the headstones of the National Military Cemetery were stolen.
In just two days, people have volunteered to help the organization Wreaths Across Canada (WRAC) make wreaths in Maxville and at the Memorial Cross Building at Beechwood.
“This week has seen a level of care, thoughtfulness, and respect for our Canadian Armed Forces Members, Veterans, and their families that not only touched our hearts but reminds us of the importance of ongoing remembrance and to better understand the sacrifice of service all year long and especially around the holidays,” stated Nicolas McCarthy, vice president of Wreaths Across Canada.
Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group
The Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group is one organization where employees and military personnel helped make wreaths on Friday, December 3, 2021.
Brigadier-General Dyrald Cross, Commander of the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group, stated, “We are humbled by the support and recognition afforded to those that have served and gone before us and especially for the impact this recognition has on families. In a simple, dignified, and meaningful way, Wreaths Across Canada contributes to their memory in cemeteries across the country.
Theft of Wreaths
“When the team heard of the theft of wreaths destined for the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood, they were both shocked and moved to action. Their motive is pure. It’s all about volunteers coming together and showing respect for those who have served Canada.
“Military and civilian members of the team contributed to all aspects of wreath production and laying in the hope of making up for the greed and thoughtlessness of those responsible for the theft.”
Wreaths Across Canada (WRAC) will move forward with its ceremony on December 5, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. at the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces.
Ceremony Way to Bring a bit of Holiday Joy
According to McCarthy, WRAC will most likely miss the total number of 6,024 wreaths. Still, the organization is determined to cover the whole Cemetery next year, as well as veterans’ headstones located at Ottawa Notre Dame Cemetery.
“Many military families will see their children, spouse, wife, husband, family members deployed far from home, and they may not see their families during this period. That is the sacrifice that many of us may not truly understand,” noted McCarthy.
This ceremony is a way to bring a bit of holiday joy to start this season acknowledge all those who serve and their families.
Wreaths Across Canada
As stated by McCarthy, WRAC is committed to providing a meaningful holiday service to connect all current, retired, and past members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families with all Canadians.
The organization is a non-profit and was started in 2007 by Craig McPhee, a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces. After visiting Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC, McPhee was inspired once he saw how American servicemen and women are honoured each December by placing a wreath at the base of headstones. Wreaths Across America is the organization that does the annual commemoration. Years later, McPhee’s hard work paid off, and WRAC became a reality.
Wreaths Across Canada Inc. is a registered Canadian Charitable Corporation with a Board of Directors.
According to McCarthy, “WRAC’s mission is to remember the contributions of Canadian military personnel and their families who lie in military cemeteries across Canada.”
To learn more about Wreaths Across Canada, visit here.