Wreaths Across America: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few of the frequently asked questions received about this event. Please contact the Bismarck Civil Air Patrol Squadron if you have additional questions.
When is this year’s event?
The 2020 Wreaths Across America day is Saturday, December 19, 2020 at the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery south of Mandan. Due to national COVID restrictions that are outside of our control, the event will be very different this year. There will be no in-person ceremony. We will be recording a ceremony ahead of time and making it available on Facebook. Please see the Event Information page for details on wreath placement.
Should I call the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery if I have any questions?
Please do NOT call the ND Veterans Cemetery with questions. This is an event organized, run, and maintained by the local Civil Air Patrol Squadron. Contact the Bismarck Civil Air Patrol Squadron with any questions regarding Wreaths Across America.
How do I sponsor a wreath?
You may sponsor a wreath online or through mail. Each wreath sponsorship is $15. We do not accept sponsorships year round so please check our Sponsor a Wreath page for information on when the program begins each fall and how to sponsor a wreath.
I want my wreath to go on a specific grave.
If you know the specific grave you want your wreath to be placed on, indicate that on the check or with a note. Provide the veteran’s name and/or grave location.
You do not have to specify a grave, however. You may simply sponsor wreaths and allow us to cover all the graves as needed.
What if I don’t know the location of the grave?
You may find a few online web sites that assist you in locating a grave quite helpful: Find A Grave, or the VA website’s locator. Or, simply include the name of the veteran buried in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, and we can look it up as we process your donation. If you sponsor online, you can use our database as you place your order to locate your veteran.
Please DO NOT call the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery for this information.
How many wreaths will be placed on each grave?
Only one wreath may be placed on each grave.
We understand that some graves have spouse names on each side of the headstone, but we are only able to place one wreath for each headstone. When people purchase two wreaths for each grave, we use the second wreath to cover the grave of a veteran who was not sponsored.
Is it too late to sponsor a wreath?
The deadline to sponsor a wreath for 2020 is December 4th. We cannot guarantee wreath sponsorship after that date. We will try to meet the requests of sponsorships that come in after that date, but we do NOT make any guarantee. This deadline is set based on requirements of the Wreaths Across America national organization.
I sponsored a wreath online. It said it would ship to my address. Is this going to happen?
No, it will NOT be shipped to your address. We use the PayPal ordering system, and it automatically notes that what you ordered will be shipped to your address.
We do NOT ship wreaths to any addresses. Any wreaths sponsored will arrive at the cemetery for placement during the ceremony. No wreath will be shipped to your home address.
May I swing by your office to drop off my check?
We do not have any physical location or office that represents our squadron or is involved in this program. Please mail your check, or contact us with questions, before dropping donations off any any office claiming to represent the squadron or the program.
Someone else said they were collecting sponsorship money on our behalf. Is that true?
If you are an organization interested in helping with this event, please contact us. We DO NOT authorize any person or organization to act on our behalf or collect money, and discourage individuals and organizations from doing so. The only way we authorize participation in this event is if you participate directly through the site or by mailing your check directly to us.
I sponsored a wreath and my check hasn’t cleared yet.
It will take a while for your check to clear. We record sponsorships here locally, and then send them to Wreaths Across America in Maine, where they are processed (as well as for thousands of other groups across the nation). This means it will take some time for your check to clear, depending on how fast WAA is able to process all of the donations at the national level.
Rest assured that you do not have to contact us. Your check will be processed eventually, though it might take about a month or so. We cannot speed up the process or do anything about your check once we’ve sent it to WAA.
Also, this is NOT a year-round program. We only actively run this program during November and December. If you send your checks in during the rest of the year, it will not clear immediately. Please be patient, or wait to send sponsorship and donation until the program has started.
What do you do if you raise more wreath sponsorships than graves at the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery?
If more wreath sponsorships are raised than there are graves in the ND Veteran’s Cemetery, excess is donated to help cover the Arlington National Cemetery. Extra sponsorships that may come in after the event are directed to the following year.
Can I place my sponsored wreath early/before the ceremony?
No, we are not able to allow early wreath placement. There are no exceptions. You must wait for the conclusion of the ceremony.
We do try to allow time at the end of the ceremony for those that have sponsored a wreath for a specific grave to place those wreaths first.
Where do I park?
Please respect the volunteers and park where they direct you.
We have volunteers who will tell you where to park. If you do not follow their instructions it makes it more difficult to get all the cars parked around the cemetery. Please do not block the roadway and make it impassable.
Parking for disabled or those with limited accessibility is located near the main building. Please do not park there if you do not need this service. You may also drop off individuals by the main building and then circle back around to park.
What should I know about participating on event day?
You should carpool. Parking is very limited.
You should arrive early.
Dress warmly; you will be outside for the entire ceremony as well as during the laying of wreaths.
My phone call/email has not been returned.
Your phone calls and emails are important to us. We are a squadron made of all volunteers and we may not be available immediately to take your call or answer your email. Please:
Use email when possible. Our phone capabilities are very limited.
Only call if you have a question not answered elsewhere on the site or promotional postcard.
How can I help?
We can always use help letting people know about the event. Please feel free to tell your friends and family about the event, as well as share on social media. We are on Facebook.
We would love to have you join us for the ceremony and wreath placement at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. Help us honor the veterans and place wreaths on the graves at the actual event.
Please contact us directly if you or your service organization are interested assisting the the ceremony or wreath removal in January. We very much need help for wreath removal.
What cemeteries will you be putting wreaths in?
We are only placing wreaths in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. We are not going to be delivering and placing wreaths in any other cemeteries in the region.
If you would like a wreath for a veteran who is buried in cemetery other than the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, you will need to place it yourself.
You will first need to sponsor a wreath and then let us know it will be picked up for another cemetery. You will then need to pick up your wreath on the day of the event, after the Wreaths Across America Ceremony, between 11:30 and 12:00. The wreaths will be located at the maintenance shed behind the chapel at the Veterans Cemetery. Any wreaths not picked up by 12:00 will be placed on a grave in the Veterans Cemetery. Additionally, it is your responsibility to make sure that the cemetery where you will be placing your wreath allows for it. Some cemeteries have changed their policies and do not allow for items to be placed on graves.
Why are wreaths missing?
At the end of the ceremony, and after the wreaths have been distributed across the cemetery by volunteers and those who have purchased wreaths for specific placement, the Civil Air Patrol, Bismarck Squadron double checks that all headstones have a wreath. We do multiple walk-throughs of the entire cemetery to make certain they are all covered.
Unfortunately, sometimes the wind blows wreaths away. There have also been instances of people who remove wreaths, take wreaths home, move wreaths around, or put a wreath they did not sponsor on a grave of their choice. Please DO NOT call the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery if you find that your wreath has been moved. Contact the Bismarck Civil Air Patrol Squadron instead, and we will make sure that the situation is corrected. We apologize that this happens.
I am with the press and would like to contact your organization to do a story.
Please use the contact information on this web site to get in touch with us.