COLUMBIA FALLS, ME – Friday, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA), as part of its Veterans Remembrance Tree Program, dedicated a Grove to Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) on the tip lands in Maine. The balsam fir trees in this Grove will now hold the replica dog tags of thousands of veterans, all Revolutionary War-era ancestors of DAR members nationwide.
DAR is a is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children, and was founded in 1890. DAR members volunteer millions of service hours annually in their local communities including supporting active duty military personnel and assisting veteran patients, awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and supporting schools for underserved children.
WAA established the Veterans Remembrance Tree Program as another way to remember and honor our veterans. As Gold Star families visited the land in Columbia Falls, Maine, where the balsam tips are harvested each year to be made into the wreaths that are placed on veterans’ graves, they found a sense of peace and tranquility from the land. The Remembrance Tree Program gives a living memorial to their loved ones.
“As a DAR member myself, I can say that their mission of promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children, speaks to me deeply and aligns effortlessly with our own mission to Remember, Honor, Teach,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA. “DAR members around the country have long been part of the WAA family, supporting local efforts in every state.”
DAR’s President General Denise Doring VanBuren made the trip to Maine along with the Executive Committee of 11 National Officers to be there in person for the dedication of the DAR National Grove.
“Our National Society is pleased to sponsor the WAA educational exhibit that travels across the nation – but we are especially proud that thousands of our member’s step forward to participate in their local ceremonies each year,” said VanBuren. “Now, we have the privilege of knowing that some of those wreaths will be made from the memorial grove that honors our Revolutionary War Patriots. As the descendants of America’s first veterans, this is a partnership that resonates deeply with our mission.”
DAR members across the country can contact WAA and give information on their loved
one. WAA’s dog tag machine allows the families of the veteran to customize their message for the tag which will be placed on a tree that will become their living memorial to their loved one. The trees are kept in production and their balsam tips are harvested every three years and made into veterans’ wreaths that are placed on headstones nationwide each December. It is FREE to participate in this program and individuals can fill out a form online to participate.
Other Honorees of the WAA Remembrance Tree Program include:
- Tiger Flight 739
- Four Chaplains Tree
- USS Iowa
- Liberators Tree (Dedicated to US Military who liberated Luna Kauffman and her remaining family, and all those surviving the Holocaust)
- Medal of Honor Remembrance Park
- Law Enforcement
- EOD Veterans (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
- Patriot Guard Riders
This year, National Wreaths Across America Day will take place on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at over 2,500 participating locations nationwide. Currently, nearly 700 DAR Chapters nationwide participate in the annual wreath-laying event at their local level. And they help share the mission to Remember, Honor, Teach, year-round!