Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Volunteer To Honor Fallen Troops

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Volunteer To Honor Fallen Troops

I am reaching out on behalf of the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, which is again placing flowers at Arlington National Cemetery to honor our fallen troops for Memorial Day. We need to recruit several hundred more volunteers.


This year we have raised support for about 150,000 flowers to come to Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day weekend, and we hope to get to 240,000 flowers at Arlington (we’ll see, it depends on donations). We are also supporting events at more than 100 cemeteries around the U.S. this year, with the help of volunteers and donors, with additional flowers.


We need about 1,200 volunteers on site on Sunday, May 26 at noon at Arlington National Cemetery near the McClellan Gate to place flowers. Right now we have about 150 volunteers signed up. That’s nowhere near enough. Volunteers are assigned a location and given a bucket of flowers to place. It’s a solemn floral tribute, as you walk along, pausing at each stone to softly read the name of the person interred and to place a flower. It can take about two hours, but this floral tribute for Memorial Day honors our fallen troops and veterans, while also reminding us all of the deeper meaning to Memorial Day — that it’s about remembering those who have sacrificed so much for us. Many people bring their children with them to volunteer, using this event to talk about service, patriotism, and sacrifice.


Volunteers can sign up through our website at www.MemorialDayFlowers.org under the Arlington National Cemetery page. We do need to know who is coming so we can make section assignments. Volunteers are encouraged to ride the Metro to Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, May 26 if they can. Remember to watch the weather, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. We also invite Scout troops, and other community organizations to volunteer too. We know many people make plans for Memorial Day Weekend, and we hope many will consider volunteering on Sunday, May 26 to help us place flowers at Arlington National Cemetery to honor so many who have given so much. We already have volunteers from the Navy Sea Cadets, area Scout troops, and others, but we need more volunteers.


The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation began in 2011 after U.S. citizens working in the floral industry wanted to express their patriotism and profound appreciation for the sacrifices made by America’s military men and women. They began with placing 10,000 roses at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day in 2011. They continue to work with Arlington National Cemetery to place flowers annually for Memorial Day and have expanded their efforts with the help of donors, volunteers and businesses to cemeteries around the country. The Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. More information is available at www.memorialdayflowers.org and on Twitter @MemDayFlowers.

Ami Neiberger-Miller

Surviving sister of U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Neiberger, KIA 08/06/2007, Baghdad, Iraq