City of Homestead’s Vice-Mayor Judy Waldman and the U.S. Military Vets Motorcycle Club of Homestead are partnering with Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization that remembers and honors American servicemen and women for their significant contributions in fighting and preserving our Nation’s freedoms. This organization, which began in 2006, follows the annual, holiday tradition at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C., where wreaths are placed on the headstones of fallen military heroes and veterans. Wreaths Across America believed it was essential to broaden this tradition across the country and abroad as a way to show appreciation and gratitude to our fallen heroes in local communities.
In 2010, there will be over 400 participating locations. Thousands of wreaths will be placed on the graves of our military veterans across the United States. This year, its first year in South Dade, U.S. Military Vets Motorcycle Club of Homestead hopes to fill Palm Woodlawn Cemetery’s entire military veteran section. The cemetery is located at 27100 Old Dixie Highway Princeton, FL 33032 where approximately 600 veterans are buried.
To fulfill this mission, Vice-Mayor Waldman and Motorcycle Club President Bill Hildebrand of the Miami-Dade and Monroe Chapter are asking for residents and the public to get involved and donate to this worthy cause. Their goal is to reach a minimum of 1,000 wreaths. Wreaths can be purchased for a $15 donation. Checks can be made out to Wreaths Across America or cash donations can be dropped off or mailed to Homestead City Hall Attention Vice-Mayor Judy Waldman at 790 N. Homestead Blvd., Homestead, FL 33030.
Each live wreath will be decorated with a red ribbon. There is no deadline to make donations to this program. Any unused money will be rolled over to the following year.
Vice-Mayor Waldman stated, “I’m thrilled to be a part of this wonderful cause and help keep the memory alive of our military heroes and veterans. I encourage everyone to participate and give back to someone who has given their all to preserve our rights and freedoms.”
On Saturday, December 11, 2010, the club will be holding their wreath ceremony at 11:30 a.m. at Palm Woodlawn Cemetery to place all donated wreaths on the veterans’ grave sites. This ceremony will be open to the public and there will be members of the military, local war heroes, and ex-prisoners of war in attendance to show their support. During the ceremony organizers will be placing seven, ceremonial wreaths representing the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and Prisoners of War in addition to the donated wreaths.
Mr. Hildebrand explained, “I promise you this is an event never before seen in Homestead and will be a day you will forever remember.”
If you are interested in participating or getting more information please contact Bill Hildebrand at (863) 205-6757 or billapril74@ yahoo.com or Vice-Mayor Waldman at (305) 224-4447 or jwaldman@ cityofhomestead.com.