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.