We would like to take this opportunity to clear up some misinformation. After the ceremony and media coverage we had several phone calls, emails and comments on social media, some of which were not very nice and it’s unfortunate that some of the information that people were questioning and commenting on was incorrect, so we would like to clear up the rumors going around.
Please know that we (the committee of 3) were also disappointed that everyone did not get a wreath, unfortunately, our fundraising was not as successful as we had hoped.
Here are samples of some of the questions and comments we received:
Why wasn’t the media informed of the shortage?
We email public service announcements to all radio, TV and print media on the upcoming events along with additional information. In 2016 the local CBS affiliate came out and reported on the Ceremonial wreath laying event. That same station came to one of our fundraising events – our annual poker run, they sent a camera person who took pictures and featured the event on their evening news that night. Also, in 2017 the location coordinator for WAA was contacted by a news reporter for another local news affiliate who wanted permission to interview him, after their discussion she said that she then had to get it approved by her boss, two days later he was contacted and told that her boss wouldn’t authorize her to do the story.
Why didn’t the government send enough wreaths?
The government does not supply the wreaths. National Cemeteries actually have a committee of volunteers that raise money, coordinate the delivery and unloading of the wreaths. Plan the ceremony, organize the removal of the wreaths and work all year long for that special day to honor those men and women.
Why did Wal-Mart Corporate pull out?
Wal-Mart Corporate did not pull out, it is not where donations for South Florida National Cemetery Wreaths Across America come from, it’s our local stores and they did help, unfortunately they did not raise as much money as usual.
I made a donation for a grave specific request and when I arrived was upset to see that my loved one didn’t have a wreath.
All grave specific requests were honored and were in place by Monday. However, we learned that some people coming to visit their loved ones would take a wreath away from another so that their loved one had one.
After the ceremony was over when I arrived at the section my loved one is buried in, wreaths were already in place and not one of us got to place one.
It’s unfortunate that people don’t follow the rules. There is a protocol to how the ceremony is to be ran and wreaths are not to be placed until after the ceremonial wreaths for each military service has been presented. We tried to have people posted by the stacks to prevent this from happening, however people do not listen.
Please know that we (the committee) are just as disappointed as you are, we strive to honor each and every one of those heroes with a memorial wreath in December. Every year it becomes harder and harder to raise enough money to place a wreath on every marker, because every day there are several laid to rest. We need the help of our local communities, businesses and media to honor these fallen.
We hope this has helped clear up some of the rumors that we are hearing.