January 17, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Live Boxing Returns to So. Maryland -

Friday, January 14, 2022

Forrest Center to Host Tech Expo Jan. 20 -

Monday, January 10, 2022

Artists Sought to Paint Benches at Art Park -

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Find Out What Your Treasures Are Worth -

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Wreaths Across America Day Is Dec. 18

Wreaths

Wreaths Across America is a national nonprofit organization best known for remembering fallen veterans with wreaths placed each December at Arlington National Cemetery. However, the organization is much more.

As of 2019, the nonprofit placed more than 2 million sponsored wreaths at over 2,100 participating locations nationwide while offering various year-long programs. These programs help live a mission to remember, honor, and teach.

This year the National Wreaths Across America Day will be Saturday, December 18.

For local locations, click here and find the red “Volunteer” button. A “Find Your Cemetery” window will pop up. Look up nearby cemeteries by typing in your ZIP code. Some local locations include Joy Chapel & Galilee UMC in Hollywood, Mount Zion UM Laurel Grove in Mechanicsville, Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Cheltenham, Olivet UM in Lusby, St. John UM in Lusby, Middleham UM in Lusby, and Our Lady Star of the Sea in Solomons.

The Event’s History

In the beginning, founder Morrill Worcester, a 12-year-old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News, won a trip to Washington, DC, where Arlington National Cemetery became an inspirational location. His pilgrimage served as a consistent reminder, through career and life, that opportunities stemmed from the values and freedom afforded to us by our nation’s veterans.

After years of hard work, Morrill founded Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, ME. In 1992, Worcester Wreath had a surplus. Morrill saw this as his opportunity to honor our veterans with hopes of returning to Arlington.

With the aid of then-Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, the first 5,000 wreaths were placed that year at Arlington National Cemetery. As plans were underway, other individuals and organizations shared Morrill’s spirit and working together built an annual mission that went unnoticed for many years.

In 2005, a photo surfaced of Arlington covered in snow, adorned with wreaths. This picture became a viral internet sensation. After, thousands of requests poured in, from people wanting to help emulate the Arlington success on the local level, prompting the official formation of Wreaths Across America the national nonprofit in 2007.

The nonprofit began its national effort by sending seven ceremonial wreaths to every state (one for each branch of the military, and for POW/MIAs). The ceremonies took place in nearly all of the 50 states and Washington, DC, with a focus on family during the holidays. As the organization grew from volunteer support, a network of local groups and cemetery locations began to emerge.

Simultaneously, groups began to escort the wreaths to Arlington. This started an annual tradition called the Veterans Honor Parade which travels the East Coast in early December. This part of the mission grew into a multi-mile long convoy which acts as an ambassador by stopping at schools, monuments, veterans homes, and local communities as the mission of the organization is shared.

In 2008, over 60,000 volunteers helped move the mission, placing 100,000 wreaths on veterans’ headstones.

Now, a small, but dedicated staff and more than 7,000 core volunteers across the country, work tirelessly on year-long programs that help accomplish this ongoing mission. That number grows to more than 2 million, a third of whom are children, who participate in the annual wreath-laying events nationwide.

This article was written by Wreaths Across America staff members Sean Sullivan and Amber Caron.

Leave A Comment