Today, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) is proud to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., (GSW) in an effort to build a stronger awareness for each group’s common missions, while supporting educational events throughout the nation that will help teach lessons of character and patriotism to the next generation.
Founded in 2007, and headquartered in Columbia Falls, Maine, WAA is best known for its annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, and now more than 2,500 additional locations nationwide, and the yearlong efforts to support its mission to Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve and their families, and Teach the next generation the value of freedom. GSW is a Congressionally Chartered nonprofit service organization established 1945. Its mission is to exist to preserve and enhance benefits to surviving United States Military spouses and children; to help its members and their children face the future with courage and determination; and to honor the memory of their military spouses who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The signed MOU between the two groups outlines nine key agreements, such as establishment of a steering committee with a representative from each organization, and collaborative volunteer efforts to provide opportunities for joint event and community service activities that bring awareness to both groups’ missions.
“Since WAA was founded, Gold Star Wives have been involved in the mission and its members play an important part in the sharing the stories of character and service we hope to teach to the country,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA. “This official partnership is long overdue, and I’m eager to start our work together. Our combined efforts will no doubt help to shape and inform the next generation of patriots.”
The current National President of GSW, Nancy Menagh, has devoted her life to service, not only as a military spouse supporting her husband, Captain Philip S. Menagh, United States Marine Corps, but continuing on long after his passing and teaching her children the importance of sacrifice and character – both served in the United States Air Force. She said, “Our membership is made up of the men and women left behind. While our loved one made the supreme sacrifice, we are the ones left to live that sacrifice every day. We are an organization that serves…our spouses served and we serve!”
This year, National Wreaths Across America Day will take place on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at over 2,500 participating locations nationwide. “The experience of placing a wreath at the final resting place of one of our nation’s veterans and understanding the healing that this simple gesture has for so many families and the opportunity it provides to share the stories of these heroes, makes this an important partnership,” Nancy concluded.