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Cemetery to Participate in Wreaths Across America (12/17/2016)

Wreaths Across America Day To Honor Veterans at Texas State Cemetery-Austin
and Over 1,200+ Participating Locations Nationwide

Columbia Falls, Maine & Austin, Texas – October 14, 2016 – Wreaths Across America (WAA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Texas State Cemetery-Austin, as participating locations.  On Saturday December, 17th, 2016, members of the Austin community will gather together to honor veterans during the holiday season as part of the annual National Wreaths Across America Day.  WAA’s location code is: TXATXC.

Specially designated balsam fir wreaths, transported from WAA-HQ in Maine by volunteer truckers, will be placed on graves and memorials.  This placement ceremony will be coordinated simultaneously at over 1,200 participating locations all across the Country. 

Founded in 1992 by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester, Wreaths Across America (WAA) became a national 501-3-c nonprofit organization in 2007 to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony begun at Arlington National Cemetery.  Wreaths Across America’s patriotic mission to:  REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those who serve and their families and TEACH our children the value of freedom. 2016 is WAA’s 25th anniversary.

In 2015, thanks to over 600,000 volunteers (placing wreaths, sponsoring wreaths or both), over 901,000 WAA wreaths were placed, included 100% of the graves at Arlington National Cemetery (240,185).  Other WAA participating locations in Texas include Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Houston National Cemetery and Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

In 2016, it is projected that around a million wreaths will be placed nationwide, as part of the WAA’ mission to “REMEMBER - HONOR – TEACH”.  This year’s theme is:  “Say Their Names”.    Karen Worcester, WAA’s Executive Director, says “We are not here to ‘decorate graves’.  We’re here to remember not their deaths, but their lives”.

Established in 1851, the Texas State Cemetery serves as the final resting place for many notable Texans, including Stephen F. Austin, Governor John Connally, Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock (who initiated an extensive restoration project from 1994 to 1997) and “American Sniper” Chris Kyle.  Governor George W. Bush established and appointed a 3-member Texas State Cemetery Committee, whose goal is for the Cemetery to serve as a tribute to the many folks who have made Texas famous throughout the word.  Currently, there are almost 2,500 veteran graves at the Texas State Cemetery-Austin. 

“We are delighted to share in WAA’s inclusion of this important Texas cemetery,” said Charlotte Waldrum, Past-President of Texas Funeral Directors Association and WAA-TXATXC volunteer location coordinator.  She added, “Our thanks to Harry Bradley, Jason Walker, the Texas State Cemetery Committee and all the cemetery team for their assistance with WAA.”

Texas Funeral Directors Association (TFDA) has volunteered to conduct the WAA ceremony this year at the Texas State Cemetery-Austin on Saturday, December 17, 2016 starting at 11:00am CST. Seven ceremonial wreaths (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and POW/MIA), which are donated by WAA, will be placed. 

In addition, TFDA will sponsor the 11th annual placement of the ceremonial WAA wreath at the State Capitol on Monday, December 12, 2016 at 11:00am CST.    It is timed to coincide with WAA ceremonies at the other 49 State Houses at noon EST.  This year’s ceremony will be at the south steps of the Capitol and is open to the public.  Taya Kyle, widow of Chris Kyle, will be the WAA wreath presenter.

Sponsorships ($15/wreath), which are tax-deductible, are available until November 28th. Sponsorships received after that date will be applied to 2017.  The government does NOT provide the wreaths for veteran graves.  One of the first group to support this effort is the Austin Colony Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which hold its monthly meetings at the cemetery.  Their fundraising code is: TX0312.  They opted for WAA’s 3-for-2 program, which means for every 2 wreaths sponsored, a 3rd one is added.

For questions about sponsoring and/or helping with placements or to schedule an interview about WAA, please contact Charlotte Waldrum, WAA-TXATXC volunteer location coordinator at (972) 740-5863 or via email at:

For more information (hours, directions and tours) about the Cemetery, located at 909 Navasota St-Austin 78702, please call (512)463-0605 or visit

For more information, please visit
Follow WAA on Facebook at and on Twitter at @WreathsAcross (     
For additional media inquiries, please contact Susan Patten, WAA-HQ at (207)598-6532 or via email at: