Alumni invited to wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetary

Photography Courtesy of UC Communications

Sophia DiBattista

sodibattista@ursinus.edu

The Ursinus College National Council is inviting alumni to participate in National Wreaths Across America day by laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 16 as part of their Bears Give Back initiative.

This is the first time the National Council will participate in the annual wreath laying event held by Wreaths Across America. The charity provides volunteers with wreaths to lay across the gravestones of veterans. This year, the D.C. chapter is holding the wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where over 400,000 soldiers and families lay at rest. All wreaths have been donated to the organization from sponsors worldwide. Since Arlington National Cemetery is a private location, the laurels will be protected from any vandalism from the outside. The wreath laying’s purpose is to commemorate, give back to, and include all fallen veterans. Therefore, the Wreaths Across America association asks each person participating to pause and thank the veteran they stand over.

On the day of the event, a truck will enter the site with all the wreaths enclosed inside it. There will then be a ceremony to commemorate the fallen at 8:15 a.m. in front of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, close to Arlington’s main gates. This will consist of a brief reflection on why the volunteers are there, what they hope to accomplish, and how to go about the process of laying the wreaths on the graves. Once the speeches are over, participants will proceed to the multiple truckloads of wreaths and begin decorating the cemetery with the wreaths.

Lisa Bogdanski, Associate Director of Alumni Relations and event coordinator, strongly encourages alumni to participate in both the event and the National Council. She said, “[Council members] are champions and local spokespersons for Ursinus College. They serve as hosts at events that build greater understanding and appreciation for the college and they help to develop a culture of giving.”

She also described how the wreath-laying event fulfills the mission of the college’s national council. She said, “The National Council is all about volunteering and giving back, so this day will provide a lot of success for the committee. It’s a large endeavor with thousands of wreaths and thousands of people.”

Bogdanski went on to explain how Bobby Fong had envisioned the council. She said, “A priority for former president Bobby Fong was to engage alumni and parents in the life of the college. To achieve this goal, President Fong asked Senior Vice President for Advancement Jill Marsteller and her Advancement staff to establish the Ursinus College National Council.”

The council was founded in 2012 and it has nine sectors located in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The Council’s Regional Club in Washington D.C., will participate in National Wreaths Across America Day.

The National Council is eager to be a part of this event, and anyone who wishes to donate or participate is strongly encouraged to do so. For any questions regarding the Council, contact Lisa Bogdanski at ucalumni@ursinus.edu. To ask Wreaths Across America for more information, contact Wayne Hanson, the Location Coordinator, at (877) 385-9504 or check out their website at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.