Celebrating The Founder Of Alcoholics Anonymous

by Bridget on June 7, 2012

To members of AA across the country, he is simple referred to as “BW”. To everyone else, Bill Wilson is a man, who along with Dr. Bob Smith, founded one of the most important programs in the history of the country. Every June, on the first Sunday of the month, hundreds of AA members and supports gather around Wilson’s grave to pay respects to the man that gave them hope. The come to the small cemetery, in his the small town of East Dorset, VT, where Mr. Willson was born, to tell stories and share experiences of how BW’s program changed their lives.


Alcoholics Anonymous just celebrated its 77th anniversary. The principle that the program was founded on was to help other get sober. It was a simple idea that spawned one of the most successful rehabilitation programs in the history of the world. Countless individuals have attended AA meetings, or subscribed to the program’s principles over the years to incredible success. Without Alcoholics Anonymous, who knows how many individuals over the years would not have been able to overcome their addictions to alcohol. It is a testament to the program that so many people flock, every year, to the gravesite of the man who invented it.


“I have great respect for Bill and everything he’s done,” an AA member said this weekend at the event celebrating Bill Wilson’s life. “It’s not just about drinking, it’s about living a different life, becoming a different human being. Whether that means being a better husband, father, brother, wife, mother, or whatever, the program helps individuals become the person they were meant to be.” Many individuals at this year’s event left notes and flowers at BW’s gravesite. All in all, nearly 200 people made the journey to the small town in Vermont to pay their respects to the man that gave them so much.

The event opened in the exact same fashion as all Alcoholics Anonymous meetings do. Members read the 12 steps of AA’s program, the 12 traditions, and then introductions. People introduced themselves as alcoholics, were greeted warmly by the crowd, and then recited the “serenity prayer”. The serenity prayer has been a staple of the program for decades, and has helped countless individuals find the strength to fight on in their sobriety. The prayer goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. This prayer is very powerful and holds a wonderful message for individual’s struggling with alcohol addiction. Alcoholics owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Bill Wilson, and every year they gather around his grave for “Bill W Day” so that they can show their appreciation for all he did during his lifetime.

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