Wreaths Across America
D.C. alumni lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery
1:19 p.m., Dec. 17, 2013--Washington, D.C.-area University of Delaware alumni joined together to lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 14, supporting the work of Wreaths Across America.
This is the second year the Washington, D.C., Alumni Club has participated in Wreaths Across America Day, according to club president Karen Slachetka, a 2005 graduate of UD’s College of Arts and Sciences. “As the daughter, granddaughter, niece and cousin of veterans, I jumped at the chance for us to take part.”
Success after adversity
Cynthia Dudzinski, a 2004 College of Arts and Sciences graduate, has been participating in Wreaths Across America Day for four years. “It’s nice to go pay tribute to all of our fallen heroes,” she says. “It can be personal, but sometimes it’s just nice to be here and see all of the people who come out from the community to support and honor the people who have given so much.”
For Dudzinski it’s also personal – she makes sure to visit the burial site of the brother of a teammate of hers from UD. His family isn’t always able to come down and visit, she says, “So it’s Blue Hens connecting together via this event remotely, too.”
Dudzinski says this event and others like it are a great way for UD alumni to connect. “You want to foster community whenever you’re an alum – that’s the whole point. You want to keep ties, keep the community strong, and let people know that once they leave college they have a group they can come to.”
She encourages Blue Hens in the D.C. area to come check out an event hosted by the club. “D.C.’s a really tough town to make new friends,” she says. “It’s hard, it can be political, but it’s also awesome once you meet the right people. And if our group can be welcoming and bring those new people in – I mean these kinds of events are great.”
In addition to participating in Wreaths Across America Day, some recent events the alumni club hosted were a holiday party, in which Blue Hens donated almost 75 pounds of canned goods to the Capital Area Food Bank, and a brewery tour at Port City Brewery in Alexandria, Va. Upcoming club events include a tour of the Phillips Collection and the annual town hall meeting.
“I feel like when you have a shared experience, you kind of want to keep those experiences going – and it kind of just fosters camaraderie with everyone,” Dudzinski says. “And its fun to look at these pictures later and to think, ‘We did that together, we did that as a group,’ and to keep making new memories.”