Wreaths Across America (WAA) and the Governor of Hawaii are pleased to announce the expansion of the WAA mission to Hawaii in honor of those that served and sacrificed in the Pacific. WAA will present three Ceremonial Wreath placements in honor of the 75th anniversary of the WWII Pacific Landings.
WAA’s mission of REMEMBER-HONOR-TEACH extends to our veterans, military and their families for all conflicts. As such, the Korean-Vietnam Memorial at the State Capitol in Honolulu was chosen as the site for WAA’s Ceremony to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at 11 am HST. Following the Capitol Ceremony, the WAA-Texas volunteer team will place another ceremonial wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (“Punchbowl” Crater) at 2 pm HST. Just as WAA was selected to present a Ceremonial Wreath as part of the 75th anniversary at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA (6Jun19), we were invited to present one for the Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 7, beginning at 7:45 am HST.
This year (2019) is the 75th anniversary of key World War II battles. Last December, WAA placed live balsam fir veterans’ wreaths on all of the 9,387 headstones at Normandy American Cemetery in France in memory of D-Day (6Jun1944). This November 30th, WAA will place wreaths on all of the 5,073 veteran graves at American Cemetery in Luxembourg, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge (16Dec1944). On December 1st, at the Netherlands America Cemetery and Memorial, 8,291 of the veterans resting there will be remembered with wreath placements.
The timing of this announcement recognizes the 75th anniversary of the landings of U.S. forces at Leyte, Philippines (20Oct1944). Leyte is where General Douglas MacArthur waded ashore, saying “I have returned.” The Battle of Leyte Gulf, which followed (23-26Oct1944), was the largest naval battle in history, involving over 200,000 combatants, resulting in the defeat of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
The WAA Ceremonial Wreaths that will be presented in Hawaii are made of live balsam fir and will be shipped from Maine. They are the same design as the Ceremonial Wreaths that will be placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on National Wreaths Across America Day, which will be held this year on Saturday, Dec. 14, at more than 1,700 participating locations nationwide. Locally, a Wreaths Across America Day event will be held at the Punchbowl starting at 8 am HST, with wreath placements to follow. Please visit wreathsacrossamerica.org/HINMCP for more information and/or sponsor a $15 wreath to be placed during the event.
Volunteers from the WAA-Texas State House Ceremony are very appreciative of the support from the Hawaii Governor’s office, the Veterans Administration-National Cemetery Administration and the National Park Service, with a special MAHALO to their fellow WAA volunteers in Hawaii.