First thing on Memorial Day, 2012, I headed to the Korean War Memorial, located on Pittsburgh’s north shore. We placed a wreath at the Memorial from the Starkist Company honoring all who served in the Korean War. Earlier in the week, we Had prepared the Memorial Wreath presented by the Pittsburgh Korean War Veterans. This wreath generally is placed near the American flag at the Korean War Memorial.
Then, We were off to a day of adventure and excitement.
We had the pleasure of visiting the National Cemetary of the Alleghenys — located right here in Western Pennsylvania, just south of Bridegville, Pa. This national cemetery is one of the newest — opened in 2005. Already over 7,000 veterans or spouses of veterans have been buried here.
We came to help families that came to visit their loved ones on Memorial Day, by giving away roses…..2 per family.
Flower farms from Ecuador and California donated all the roses that we gave away. Logistics were provided to get the roses to us free of charge by a national inporter/broker. We willingly gave of our time to pass out the roses.
This program began at Arlington National Cenetery in 2011. This year, At Arlington, over 100,000 roses were distributed or placed on graves.
Over 100 florists from all across the USA distributed roses at 100 local cemeteries. No monetary donations were accepted. No cost to any family member was involved.(and many people offered us donations through-out the day).
We did this in grateful remembrance of those who have served our country to keep us safe and free from harm. We did this in memory of so many family members who have answered the call to duty in wars gone by. We did this because we wanted to honor all of those who came before us, and are no longer with us today….family members, friends, loved ones and some that we only know by name.
Because the cemetary of the Alleghenies is a very vast place, we found it better to operate out of our minivan, and do a “drive-up” service. (sort of like going thru the drive thru at McDonald’s!!) The pictures attached tell our story better than I can.
Thanks to me friend, Alexandra, for helping me on Monday. We gave away 500 roses in about 5 hours. We will return next year, I promise.
And….thanks to all the families for all your kindness during our day with you. We really, really appreciate it! Your notes that were mailed to us afterward brought us to tears in lots of cases. Thank you for being the families of True Heroes.