Wreaths Across America (“WAA”) is a non-profit organization with the mission to “remember the fallen; honor those who serve; teach our children the value of freedom.” During the holiday season, they do so one wreath and one hero at a time.
The organization sprang from the determination of Morrill Worchester, the owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. In 1992, he donated 5000 Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery and began a yearly journey to deliver the wreaths.
His personal mission did not gain national attention until 2005 when pictures of the wreath-laid headstones circulated the internet. The interest in the project has continued to grow since and spread to locations nationwide. The Worchester family formed WAA in 2007. The wreath laying is held each year on the second Saturday of December, which the U.S. Senate now recognizes as National Wreaths Across America Day.
This year, on December 12, more than 151,000 wreaths were placed upon headstones at Arlington National Cemetery, over 400 state and national cemeteries across the U.S., and 24 cemeteries on foreign soil. The trek from Maine to Virginia has turned into a parade – including the escort of the Maine State Police, volunteers, veterans, and Patriot Guard Riders with stops at schools, town squares, veteran hospitals, and more along the way. New this year is a special “mile of memories” display in Battery Park, New York City to honor 9/11 victims and veterans.
To find out more or how to get involved, see WAA’s website at: http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/.