Wreathes Across America

The Wreaths Across America story is growing, yet again. Fifteen years ago a wreath company in Maine had over 5,000 extra wreaths too close to Christmas to release to the market. How would you get “rid” of 5,000 wreaths? Businessman Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company donated them to Arlington National Cemetery to decorate the graves for the holidays. Since then the story has grown… and grown.

The first year 5,000 wreaths were laid at Arlington, and then last year Worcester’s wife, Karen, came up with the idea for Wreaths Across America. Over 75,000 wreaths have been donated since 1992 from Worcester Wreath Company alone, and every year the number of volunteers placing the wreaths has grown too. This year wreaths were donated at Arlington and 200 other state and national cemeteries; and for the first time were donated to 24 veterans cemeteries on foreign soil, and aboard U.S. ships sailing in all 7 seas! Each State Capitol even receives a wreath.

What connects all these wreaths is a simultaneous ceremony where all of the wreaths are laid on the gravesites at the same time all across the world. What a beautiful way to collectively memorialize all of those who served our country.

You can visit the Wreaths Across America site at www.wreaths-across-america.org and view the beautiful pictures of the wreaths at the gravesites. The pictures on the site have not been altered, they are just so beautiful that many people have a hard time believing they are not computer generated! YouTube even has a video of the placing of the wreaths which is worth watching.

All of this because a 12 year old boy named Morrill Worcester won a trip to Washington from his paper delivery route. He was so moved by his visit to Arlington National Cemetery that 30 years later his visit inspired him to donate the extra wreaths, and has given people the opportunity to act upon their gratitude even today.