Sarasota students honor memory of those who gave all

Patriotism is on full display at the Sarasota Military Academy. The public charter school was founded in 2002 and combines academics, military principles, and leadership.  

"We prepare young men and woman to go out into society and be productive individuals," explained Christina Bowman, the executive director of schools for the academy.

For the past nine years, the school has been taking part in Wreaths Across America. The organization's mission is to remember and honor veterans for service to our country by laying a wreath at their gravesite at military cemeteries across America.  

"It gives us a sense of patriotism and respect for our community," said Joey Collins, a student at the school.  "Veterans who are buried out at the national cemetery, they gave a very big sacrifice to our society so that we can have the things that we have now.” 

This year's goal for the students is to lay a wreath at more than 13,000 graves at Sarasota National Cemetery in December. 

"It’s a wonderful way to teach our children respect and patriotism and honor and about what's important," offered Michelle Collins, president of the school’s Parents, Teachers, and Cadets Council.

"They take ownership and they take pride in the fact that they are able to do something and be a part of something greater than themselves," added Bowman. 

The school is looking for community support to sponsor wreaths.  You can learn more at