In an effort to ensure that a wreath is placed on each of the 43,000 gravestones at Chattanooga National Cemetery, the local United States Coast Guard detachment and Surf’s Up Car Wash will join the effort with a fundraising event at Surf’s Up Car Wash at 407 Signal Mountain Road on Friday, starting at 9 a.m. Surf’s Up will make a donation for each car washed and the Coast Guard will offer assistance to motorist in giving “tender, loving care to their vehicles”. Donations to “Wreaths Across Chattanooga” will be accepted. The placement of these wreaths will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15, at noon.
In many local discussions, there is a perception that a wreath is placed on every grave marker at Chattanooga National Cemetery but that is not the case. In reality, only enough funds or wreaths donated at a national level, cover at most 10,000, of the 43,000 headstones. Since enough wreaths haven’t been received to cover all headstones, event organizer (Civil Air Patrol) works with Chattanooga National Cemetery to prioritize which section or sections are covered; this means that the remaining sections aren’t honored with a wreath.
The mission of Wreaths Across Chattanooga is to lay a wreath on every gravestone at Chattanooga National and in so doing is to simply remember all Chattanooga area veterans who served our country, honor the lives of those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice, and teach the value of freedom and about those who protect our freedom. This is an opportunity to connect “The Greatest Generations” with the “Generation of Hope” and an opportunity to honor our Chattanooga Heroes.