On December 14, second year veteran, Truly and first year rookie, Amanda joined thousands of volunteers to lay wreaths on the tombstones of the fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.
Amanda: This is my first year participating in Wreaths Across America. I
remember seeing pictures of the cheerleaders attending last year, and knew if I made the team that I would want to participate in this initiative. This opportunity is a great way to give back during the holiday season to those who have selflessly sacrificed their lives to defend our country.
Truly: This was my second year representing the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders at Wreaths Across America. Laying wreaths is just a very small token of our appreciation for the men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom. Amanda and I also went to show our support to the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders Alumni who have husbands and loved ones who tragically lost their lives for this great country.
Amanda: There are thousands of volunteers that participate each year, making
it difficult to get to the event. It was suggested to use public transportation. The metro was filled with civilians, soldiers, public figures, and family and friends delivering wreaths to the graves of servicemen and women.
Truly: It’s touching to see how many people come out and volunteer and let the past and present soldiers know that they are not forgotten. We truly appreciate their sacrifice and dedication to our country. Each year becomes more and more special to me and I will definitely make this a tradition to return every year.
Amanda: While waiting in line for a wreath, an army serviceman informed us that we could be the first ones to visit a fallen veteran's graves in long a time. Friends and family who had members buried in the cemetery were asked to come forward first to give them an opportunity to a lay a wreath on their relative's grave. I had the opportunity to lay a wreath at the grave of a veteran who fought and survived in three conflicts: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It was an honor to acknowledge his dedication to protecting our country.
Truly: Honoring the soldiers and showing our gratitude was a very special and memorable moment, especially since we met up with our fellow sisters, Kimberly and Tonya, from the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders Alumni Association. Being able to show our love and support is something that goes far beyond the dance studio, and reaches through our classes and brings us even closer together.
Amanda: Truly and I met Kimberly, a Washington Redskins Cheerleader Alumni, who was there with her two kids to deliver a wreath to her husband's grave. We were honored to be there to remember her husband’s sacrifice and bring comfort to our fellow sister. Having close family and friends who have served in the military made this project near and dear to my heart. I plan to make this initiative a tradition each holiday season.
Truly: With the majority of the cheerleaders going on tour in the off season, I think it’s very important to remember why we are so fortunate to do what we love on a daily basis, and not take something like dance for granted. Brave men and women have laid down their lives for us, and it’s an honor to remember them through Wreaths Across America and through military tours. Amanda and I will make this a yearly tradition and hope to see all of the Redskins fans there to show their appreciation next December!
Hope you have a happy and healthy New Year!
Amanda and Truly