Charity Honors American Veterans with Wreaths

Wreaths Across America is gearing up for its annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Designed by the non-profit to honor forgotten US veterans, the event celebrates National Wreaths Across America Day on the third Saturday of December.

Wreaths Across America was founded in 2007, but its origins stretch back to 1992 when Morrill Worcester, the founder of Maine’s Worcester Wreath Company, decided to donate his company’s extra Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. Soon, other groups in different cities began undertaking their own wreath-laying ceremonies, and Worcester founded the Wreaths Across America non-profit in 2007 to helps coordinate hundreds of annual ceremonies.

The Wreaths Across America convoy carrying wreaths for veterans at Arlington National Cemetery left Harrington, Maine on December 9. This year, the convoy is being led by Colonel Roger Donlon, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. The caravan also includes representatives from American Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives of America. The procession will wind its way through Delaware and Maryland and arrive in Washington D.C. on Friday. The main wreath-laying ceremony is scheduled to take place Saturday morning at Arlington.

In addition to the national wreath-laying ceremony in Washington D.C., many locals are also hosting their own ceremonies. Ceremonies are scheduled for hundreds of cemeteries across the US, including Bel Air Memorial Gardens in Maryland and Los Angeles National cemetery in California. Veterans, family members and volunteers will also lay wreaths in 24 different overseas locations. Each ceremony will take place at the same time and be accompanied by a coordinated moment of silence.

A Holiday Way to Thank and Remember Veterans

Amid the traditional Holiday appeals is a unique way to celebrate known as Wreaths Across America. The goal of this annual 3rd Saturday in December observance is to honor and remember all deceased veterans whether they are buried on land or at sea.

Wreaths Across America is the brain child of a Maine wreath-making businessman back in 1992 spawned by the recall of a long-remembered childhood visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

In 2007, Morrill Webster established a foundation to adorn the gravestones in a less-frequently visited portion of Arlington National Cemetery. 2017 statistics indicate not only will his designated area be festooned, but all veteran grave markers in the 50 continental United States of America will be included.

Departing from Columbia Falls, Maine, wreaths will be transported though the New England states en route to Washington. D.C. For the 5th year, one of America’s highest ranked military schools for middle and high school age boys, Fishburne Military School situated in Waynesboro, Virginia, will be participating in the actual wreath laying detail for Arlington National Cemetery’s 200,000 graves. Including those buried at sea, veterans will be honored at 1,238 locations across the USA. Arriving in Washington, D.C., the caravan will be escorted to the cemetery led by this year’s caravan marshals Roger and Norma Donlon.

Volunteers are needed to lay wreaths at smaller cemeteries. Wreaths may be donated for $15. Whether you participate, donate, or watch a ceremony on the media, this is a unique way to say “Thank you for your service.”