The “holidaze” has officially begun – are you feeling itsdistorting blur yet? Amid all the shopping and cookie-baking and end-of-yeartasks, it’s a surprisingly stressful season. Sometimes it feels likecelebrating the holidays takes us further and further away from its intendedspirit of peace, hope and fellowship.
Reviving that true holiday spirit as a team is one of themany reasons we decided to participate in Wreaths Across America this year. This organization promotes a nationwide event inwhich ordinary Americans join veterans, their families and other supporters inlaying wreaths on fallen military members’ graves. Their mission is to “spreadthe word about the importance of remembering our fallen heroes, honoring thosewho serve, and teaching our children about the sacrifices made by veterans andtheir families to preserve our freedoms.” This video explains in moving terms why thissimple ritual matters – and how far-reaching this act of respect can be inbringing communities closer together.
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Aline Kasliner, a conversion analyst on one of TradeKing’s newdata optimization teams, coordinated our Charlotte team’s participation in WAA atthe Forest Lawn East Cemetery in Matthews, NC. I asked her to explain what WAAhas meant to her personally, and I guarantee you’ll be moved by her reply:
Volunteering for the Wreaths AcrossAmerica (WAA) Project is more than a way I could honor our veterans, activemilitary members, and military families – it has been a life-changingexperience. I was laying the wreath on the grave of a service member laid torest in Las Vegas one year, when a man next me said, ‘That's my dad'. Hewas quiet and soft spoken. You could see in his eyes how proud he was ofhis father. He told me his dad’s story and asked if I would remember hisfather more than just that day. That's a moment I will never forget. I honorhis father, my family members, and all military who haveserved. Truthfully I’ve experienced many moments like this example, andeach has stayed with me. As a result I have volunteered in seven cemeteries infive states.
Below is a photo of the TradeKing CLT team as we embarked onan unforgettable WAA journey last Saturday, December 12.
This holiday season, I vow to slow down, look around me, andsincerely appreciate everything good and holy in my life: family, friends andteammates, loyal TradeKing clients, good health, prosperity, and my country andits many freedoms. That’s the true holiday spirit, and we heartily wish it toyou and yours this season!
[image from Wreaths Across America]