The Avenue of 444 Flags Foundation was incorporated on April 25, 1990, as a charitable organization under the IRS Code § 501(c)(3). It has a multi-fold mission:
- To educate the public about the Iranian hostage crisis and the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and their families throughout the history of the United States;
- To advance patriotic spirit and civic pride in our nation;
- To construct and maintain monuments that honor our military veterans and to pay tribute to them and their families with stories and videos;
- To provide a resting place for the cremated remains of honorably discharged veterans and their families;
- To inter at no cost the cremated remains of honorably discharged veterans unclaimed in funeral homes and crematories throughout America and the cremated remains of veterans whose family or legal representative cannot afford such services;
- To maintain, preserve and enhance for the benefit of the general public the monuments and areas located within, and the horticulture and landscape of, America’s Cemetery;
- To provide carefully selected dogs from shelters and donated dogs, train them, and subsequently place them with honorably discharged veterans suffering with emotional and physical issues, all at no cost to the veteran, including but not limited to, food and veterinary care for the life of the dog;
- To create other programs that will be beneficial to all Americans
With the establishment of the Cremation Garden, the Foundation started the Veterans Left Behind Project. Its purpose is to inter, at no cost, the cremated remains of thousands of veterans that lie unclaimed in funeral homes and crematories across the country. It is a joint project of the Avenue of 444 Flags Foundation, funeral homes, mortuary schools and students, and others wanting to provide honor to those who have been deprived of it, some for many years.
The land in which the Cremation Garden is located was deeded directly to the Avenue of 444 Flags Foundation by Hillcrest Memorial Park on February 1, 2013.