National Wreaths Across America Day is observed annually on the 3rd Saturday in December.
National Wreaths Across America Day is a volunteer program to cover all Veterans grave markers with a Christmas wreath. The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember, honor and teach. By organizing wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and other veterans’ cemeteries around the country, Wreaths Across America strives to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.
Wreaths Across America coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,400 locations across the United States, at sea and abroad. December was chosen because there is no better time to express appreciation than during the holiday season for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
This wonderful display of remembrance began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester and his business Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, had a surplus of wreaths toward the end of the holiday season. Years before at the age of 12, Worcester had visited Arlington National Cemetery in our nation’s capital. The experience had reminded him through his life of the sacrifice some had made in order for others, including himself, to succeed and flourish.
Plans were made to lay the wreaths in honor of our Veterans at an older, less visited section of Arlington National Cemetery. Volunteers stepped forward to help deliver and place the wreaths.
Becoming an annual, yet quiet tribute, this went on for several years. Then in 2005, a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the project received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help with Arlington, to model after the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes.
In 2007, the Wreaths Across America non-profit group was founded. The event has expanded to all 50 states to lay wreaths at veterans’ cemeteries to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families.
In 2008, over 300 locations held wreath-laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 overseas cemeteries. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves. Over 60,000 volunteers participated. And that year, December 13, 2008 was unanimously voted by the US Congress as “Wreaths Across America Day”.
To learn how you can volunteer or sponsor wreaths, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org
Continue to honor our veterans with a grave marker. Available for each military branch and war, we also have markers for firefighters, police officers, and masonic lodge.
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