The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, began handing out 10,000 flowers to visitors at Arlington National Cemetery in 2011. In 2023, over 300,000 flowers were placed at ANC, with an additional 200,000 flowers sent to various cemeteries throughout the country.

The Foundation’s goal is to honor all interred veterans across the country.


After the May 2, 2011 Seal Team Mission, a small group of U.S. citizens organized the handout of 10,000 flowers at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

Every year since then, the Foundation has continually increased the number of flower tributes at Arlington National Cemetery. 


Across the country, the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation logistically supports organizations in the handout of flowers to visitors at local cemeteries.


The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation procures its flowers from a network of over 100 flower growers, importers, and wholesale florists.

Our transport partners, Armellini Logistics and DV Flora, ensure that the fresh-cut flowers arrive on time at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Saturday core volunteers process and prepare the flowers so that cemetery visitors have the best possible experience on Sunday and Monday.  Active Volunteers support and sustain our activities over the entire weekend.

When performing the flower tribute, we ask cemetery visitors and volunteers place a flower in front of each headstone, quietly read the inscription and say a few words thanking the interred for their service.

Board Of Directors

Brenda Gray Reny


Brenda Gray Reny is an experienced financial services executive who has focused her career on providing strategic advice to individuals and families. Brenda has developed and directed advisory teams at both national banks and within the family office world. A native of Washington, D. C., Brenda is the proud mother of three sons. Reny is Chair of the Foundation’s Governance Committee.

Steve Dionne


Steve has worked in the floral industry for the past 27 years, engaged in both domestic and international trade. He was awarded Society of American Florists’ Floral Marketer of the Year award (1998) and was inducted into the American Academy of Floriculture (2010). Steve is also currently a shareholder in floral import company

Johan Sohn

Board member

Born in South Korea, raised in Saudi Arabia, and schooled in New England, Johan has settled in Miami to work in the floral industry. His respect and gratitude toward veterans brought him in alignment with The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, joining in 2014 to help coordinate logistics and processing.

Maggie Sheedy

Board member

 Maggie spent her career in investment banks on the west coast, with 25+ years fundraising and serving on and chairing boards of for arts organizations, independent schools and nonprofits. Maggie lives in DC with her husband, and has veteran family members buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Born and raised in Hawai’i, she was always around the beauty and meaning of flowers.  ⁠

David Murphy

Board member

With over 30 year’s experience focusing on wealth advisory. Additionally, he is a retired Special Forces Colonel with service in Afghanistan and other locations throughout the world. Currently, two of his three children are in the military. David is a native of Connecticut and currently resides in Charlestown Massachusetts.

Robin van der Schaaf

Board member

Robin van der Schaaf has been in the flower industry for his whole professional life.  He moved to California from Holland in the 1990s, working at plant nurseries and floral supply companies in the West Coast.  Currently, Robin is West Coast Manager at 2Plant International, as well as the current Vice President of CalFlowers Board of Directors.

Dana Armellini

Dana Armellini

Board member

Dana Armellini is a seasoned Project and Program Manager with a proven track record of successfully leading and executing projects across diverse industries. Armed with a passion for animals, Dana dedicates her time to volunteering at animal shelters and actively contributes to conservation efforts, from aiding sea turtles to honoring fallen soldiers by laying flowers. Her commitment extends beyond professional pursuits, reflecting a well-rounded individual with a genuine dedication to both project management excellence and making a positive impact on the world.


Ramiro Penaherrera

Executive Director

After twenty-five years in the flower industry, Ramiro changed flowers for avocados and co-founded Memorial Day Flowers.


Director of Operations

Formerly the COO of an Ecuadorian software company, Bernardo joined the Foundation in 2018.


We want to thank everyone who has given, in some way, support to the Foundation throughout all these years.


These people and companies have given their time and  resources to make it possible for families and cemetery visitors to honor those who served.

The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization soliciting tax-deductible private contributions for the mission of the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation. Financial and other information about the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation purpose, programs, and activities can be obtained by contacting the Executive Director at 1588 South Mission Rd, Fallbrook, CA 92028, (202) 455-6713, www.memorialdayflowers.org, or for residents of the following states, as stated below:

Virginia: The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation’s latest financial statement is available upon request from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218.

Florida: Copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free (800-435-7352) within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.


  • Abe Bacarra
  • Amy Chew
  • Ashley Black
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