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Christmas in July with Wreaths Across America

The men, women, and spouses who have served our country lie in rest at National Cemeteries around the world.

At the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida, thousands upon thousands of graves are lined in delicate, manicured rows, surrounded by miraculous nature, each marked by pristine headstones. Others are laid to rest within the columbarium.

Peaceful and majestic are words that come to mind. A quiet moment on one of the cemetery’s serene benches brings upon the enormity of the spirit of those who have lived. The entire campus envelops you in a warm embrace accompanied by soft breezes and the gentle rustle of the American Flag.

Throughout the year, local chapters of Wreaths Across America (WAA) work closely with the Florida National Cemetery at Bushnell, which hosts an annual Christmas WAA wreath-laying event to honor veterans.

At Christmas in 2023, 38,000 wreaths were sponsored and placed on headstones and columbariums throughout the cemetery. Nearly 10,000 volunteers carried and placed each wreath.

Although 38,000 seems like many wreaths, it falls short of the 137,000 gravesites at Bushnell. The cemetery’s oldest sections can be identified by number: Section 100 and Section 200, gravesites old enough not to have a remaining surviving family, thus an area that seems to get the least number of wreaths.

Through the sponsorship of wreaths, Wreaths Across America hopes to offer a wreath for every veteran someday.

Section 600 is home to the newest internments, and Section 700 is already being prepared for the near future. The newer sections of the cemetery have the most living relatives, so they are the busiest sections on the day of the event.

How can you help to ensure that all veterans of the Florida National Cemetery at Bushnell are acknowledged at Christmastime? It’s simple: sponsor a wreath. The current goal is to place at least 50,000 wreaths, which you can help reach.

Sponsored wreaths are $17 each and can be sponsored for a specific person or as a general sponsorship that allows the wreath to be placed anywhere. Sponsoring a wreath in July helps to keep the program going and anticipate the number of wreaths needed for the December event.

It’s not just about placing a wreath. Wreaths Across America believes that every time you say a veteran’s name, they are remembered. As a wreath is placed, the name of the veteran is spoken to honor them for their service.

“We always want to remember, no matter what stone you come to, whether it has a wreath or not, to say the veteran’s name because there may be family members that aren’t living anymore and can no longer come to this place to speak their name.” says, Cindy Bently-Roberts, co-location coordinator for Wreaths Across America at the Florida National Cemetery at Bushnell.

This year’s wreath sponsorship deadline is November 26th, 2024.


How to Sponsor a Wreath: Click here and then click on “Sponsor Wreaths.”

  1. Select the number of wreaths you want to sponsor and select ‘Review My Sponsorship.’
  2. Complete and check out.

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