Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Friday, October 28, 2016

contrition

  As some of you may already be aware I became involved with WreathsAcrossAmerica. The purpose of this organization is to place a wreath on the grave of every veteran in the United States. This group has been around for a while now but has only started to be known in recent years. It is a non-profit. It is also used as a fundraiser. Don't ask me how that works, non-profit and fundraiser, but I just know I am selling the wreaths for fifteen dollars each and my group will receive five dollars for each wreath sold. I am representing the Greensboro historical society. So the veterans get their wreaths and we get five dollars. Sounds like we are making a profit but I guess the organization as a whole does not. Anyway I believe in full disclosure and present these facts in that spirit. Your group can donate the funds you would receive back to the organization to purchase even more wreaths. I haven't asked but don't think the Historical society would do that. I'll pose that question at the next meeting.
 I have purchased wreaths the last few years. I also went one year to help place those wreaths. I'm certain I will help place them this year. There has been an effort to identify the graves of all veterans interred in the Greensboro cemetery. There is no comprehensive list but it is my understanding significant progress has been made. I know that there are civil war veterans and I expect every war since. I make certain to place an American flag on the grave of a Colonel Comegy, civil war veteran, every Memorial day and Veterans day. I have never seen another flag or flower placed upon his stone and I assume his family is no longer in the area. I'm certain that happens quite frequently. I believe that will be even more common in future years. We do tend to move around a great deal more than in the past. More than likely I'll be the first Reichart in there ! Now I'm in no hurry to get that distinction but I saw that to illustrate my point.
 I went to their website to brush up on the information. There was a lady giving a speech there. She says, " we all die twice, when we take our last breath and when our name is spoken for the last time. " I take no credit for it being my original thought or idea but I have always said, you are alive as long as your name is spoken. I probably heard or read that somewhere. I was surprised to hear it though. The sentiment is exactly the same. She goes on to say that it is requested the name of the veteran be spoken out loud when the wreath is placed. That, accompanied by a thank you for your service. A symbolic gesture and one I believe in. I will be certain to do just that ! I have more reading to do to become more informed on specific policy and procedures.
 I'm not really much of a cause guy. This one however hits me where I live. It is not so much that I am a veteran but I can't help but think of the vets lost. Yes, men die in war and that is to be expected. We all pray it isn't us or someone we love. I seem to be blessed with incredible luck in that regard. I have spent many hours researching my family tree. No one, not one, to the best of knowledge, in my family has ever been killed in war. Many have served and in combat theaters and all returned. This cause is to remember all veterans. Yes, we have Veterans day to celebrate them as well. I understand that. The placing of a wreath, for Christmas is another symbolic gesture of our respect. Some would say it is a Christian gesture, it being a Christian holiday. Yes, I get that but I make no distinction in religious beliefs in the placing of those wreaths. The gesture is not a confirmation of their beliefs, but a show of respect from mine. It is a solemn gesture, not a celebration. Wreaths have been used throughout history and in many cultures as symbols. And, truth be known, I am not concerned with political correctness or offending anyone. This is my gesture of honor and respect. I will not apologize for that or make excuses. I should hope I receive mutual respect.
 So I will continue to ask for support for this cause. I hope one day to see every veterans final resting place decorated with a wreath. We should never forget them. How sad is it to be forgotten and go unrecognized, especially so at Christmas. I urge everyone to participate. It is a good feeling. Yes, it is a selfish act. I do it as an act of contrition. I feel sorrow for those lives lost and pensive for those forgotten. That wreath is a symbol. The circle is completed. The circle will not go unbroken.