2018 Wreaths Across America

Stones River National Cemetery, December 15, 2018

At noon on Saturday (12/15/2018), there was a Wreaths Across America Ceremony ceremony at Stones River National Battlefield. It Remembered the Fallen, Honored Those Serving and Taught The Next Generation respect and honor for our veterans.

A record turnout of approximately 800 persons attended the Murfreesboro event. Wreaths were placed on the gravestones as part of the ceremony. In addition, the number of graves that had wreaths placed on them was more than 1,300 as compared to 80 the first year.

Stones River Battlefield Park Ranger Jim Lewis said, “This was far and away the best turnout we’ve had for this event, rivaling the number of volunteers who help us place flags at every grave on Memorial Day weekend.”

The inspiration for this year’s theme stems from the 2009 drama “Taking Chance,” which was based on the experiences of U.S. Marine Lt. Colonel Michael Strobl, who escorted the body of a fallen Marine, PFC Chance Phelps back to his hometown in Wyoming from the Iraq War.

Wreaths Across America Executive Director Karen Worcester said, “I was deeply impacted by this story and found it difficult at times to fathom the burden this young man carried in his task. Lt. Col. Strobl volunteered to be a witness for PFC Phelps, and as the movie so eloquently states, he is now responsible in no small part for PFC Phelps’s legacy. Through the Wreaths Across America program, we are ensuring that the lives of our men and women in uniform are remembered, not their deaths.  It is our responsibility as Americans, to be their witness and to share their stories of service and sacrifice with the next generation.”