Pappy Jack

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Every year at Veteran’s Day Mom threw away the papers asking the students to bring in a photo of any family Veterans or Active Military. With no military connection in our immediate family, Mom felt some disconnect. But Isla knew better. She remembered Pappy Jack, her great grandpa she never got to meet.

How it Started

On visits to Pappy and Grammie’s, our curious Isla would see photos of a young man with a familiar smile. She’d ask who he was and learn it was her great grandfather on Pappy’s side, Pappy Jack. She’d learn more of his story and eventually connect the dots that not only should Pappy Jack be honored on Veteran’s Day, but so should Pappy Dave on Grammie’s side.

It filled Mom’s eyes with tears and heart with joy that Isla wanted to remember two of the men who shaped her life so much. Isla seemed so interested in knowing them. They were gone long before she was even a thought. Pappy Jack passed when Mom was in Kindergarten. Pappy Dave when Mom was a High School Junior. But it was like Isla knew them anyways.

Even though the papers had made it to the trash, Mom worked with Miss D to be sure the girls could honor their Veterans.

How it Went

Isla put together her poster for Pappy Jack and also has since taken Pappy’s photo and he is sitting on her vanity. (Guess we’re going to have to get you a new one for your table, Pappy!)

And Ava, it seemed fitting to have her make a poster about Pappy Dave because this girl seems to have his face and smile and love for laughter/silly jokes.

They understood the assignment.

Girls holding pictures of their great grandfathers who are military veterans

Wreaths Across America 2021

In addition to honoring their Great Grand Pappies on Veterans Day, the ‘lil Burghers, Pappy and Grammie will be remembering the heroes next Saturday, December 18, 2021. It is officially going to be recognized as Wreaths Across America Day, following a Senate ruling on December 10.

Wreaths Across America Logo
Source: Wreaths Across America Staff

Mom’s company was able to sponsor over 100 wreaths this year to be placed on the graves of Veterans in a cemetery in Ohio, and while we are unable to participate this year, we are hoping to be able to get a chance to in a future year.

To learn more about the powerful, emotional story of this annual tradition, here is a press release that was shared with us to tell you more.

Washington, D.C.December 10, 2021 – The Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King designating Saturday, December 18th, 2021, as “Wreaths Across America Day.” A convoy of volunteers will travel from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery to lay Maine-made balsam wreaths at the headstones of American veterans interred there.

“Wreaths Across America is a powerful demonstration of respect and appreciation for our veterans – both those that we’ve lost and those still with us,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We are so proud that this heartfelt expression of gratitude originated in our great state and has become an enduring symbol of our nation’s gratitude for veterans’ valor and sacrifice. This resolution remembers and honors America’s veterans this holiday season, while also teaching younger generations of the sacrifices that have been made to secure our freedoms and to defend our liberty.”

The general public can register to participate in Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery here.

Thousands of volunteers are expected to lay the wreaths at the graves of each American veteran.  In addition to Arlington National Cemetery, volunteers will place wreaths at 3,100 locations nationwide.

The full resolution can be read here.

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About Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. 

For more information or to sponsor a wreath please visit

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