A person dies twice. Once when they take their final breath and later, the last time their name is spoken. When Wreaths Across America places a wreath on veterans’ graves, they say their names aloud. It’s an honorable moment to pay respect for their service to our country and the sacrifices they made. The decoration is not about remembering their death, it’s about remembering their life.

The mission of Wreaths Across America isn’t just a holiday garnish and the decor doesn’t end when December is over. They’re an organization that spends the entire year remembering our fallen U.S. veterans, honoring those who served and teaching our children the value of freedom. They may coordinate wreath-laying ceremonies but they believe the memories of all those who have passed are worthy of year-round recognition.

If you’ve ever driven by a National Cemetery or a Veteran’s Memorial Park during the holiday season, you’ve likely noticed the long rows of headstones, adorned with perfectly placed wreaths. But do know what they mean? And what they stand for? Did you know that each one is carefully crafted with regardful representation for a veteran’s honor, respect and victory? These wreaths have been deliberately designed and arranged with significant meaning. Evergreens are a symbol of longevity and endurance. The forest scent gives way to purity and simplicity. The red bow tied on each reveals the great sacrifice that was made. And the circular shape illustrates eternity. Each wreath is comprised of ten Balsam bouquets that stand for ten special qualities embodied by a veteran.

  1. Their faith in God
  2. Their love for each other
  3. Their strength, work ethic and character
  4. Their honesty and integrity
  5. Their humility, selflessness and modesty
  6. Their ambitions and aspirations
  7. Their optimism for America
  8. Their concern for the future
  9. Their pride in their duties
  10. Their hopes and dreams that didn’t always come true but left them with no regrets

So the next time you see a wreath, speak out a veteran’s name with honor, appreciation and love. Because those individuals gave us the rights and freedoms we so easily take for granted. Better yet, consider purchasing a wreath kit of your own or sponsor a wreath to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery or your own local veteran’s cemetery. It allows these men and women to never be lost upon the labor or forgotten amidst the fight. Appreciation cannot possibly be summed up in a setting but it can be symbolized with a ceremony.

Black and white, a dynamic duo that always pairs perfectly. A classic combination of color that never loses its character. And a refined reflection for the respected. For this month’s UrbanHero halo, we opt to appoint a flawless floral formation that gives our virtuous veterans the kind of merit they deserve. So for this holiday season and all year long, try not to forget the fallen and their families. And let this fabric be a reminder of your own favorable efforts that give gratitude for our freedoms.

To learn more about our UrbanHero program, click here. Ready to jump right in and become an UrbanHero? Click here.