Remember, Honor, and Teach. That is the year-round mission of Wreaths Across America, but this is their most visible time of year.
Morrill Worcester was just 12 years old when he won a trip to Washington, DC. Arlington National Cemetery had a huge effect on him.
Many years later, in 1992, Morrill had 5,000 extra wreaths left over from his wreath making company. He started inquiring about the possibility of taking them to place in one of the oldest sections of Arlington. Others found out what he was planning, and they stepped up to help, and for many years, they quietly took the extra wreaths to Arlington.
Then, in 2005, a photo of the wreaths at Arlington started going viral across the internet. Suddenly, a quiet little tribute to our veterans at Christmas time also went viral.
The next year, in 2006, everything exploded. Wreaths were sent to locations in all 50 states, thanks to volunteers who stepped up. Wreath laying ceremonies were scheduled to occur at the same time across the country, thanks to the support of the Civil Air Patrol and others. The Patriot Guard Riders, an organization whose members attend the funerals of members of the U.S. military, firefighters, and police at the invitation of a decedent’s family, volunteered to escort the wreaths on their trip from Maine to Arlington. Thus began the annual “Veterans Honor Parade” that has been called the longest veterans tribute parade.
This is when I first found out about Wreaths Across America. My son was a Boy Scout, and his Troop sold Christmas Trees as a fundraiser. I was one of the parents who would help out, and we were right there on the parade route.
Because of the sudden increase in attention to what had started out 15 years earlier as a simple wreath-laying ceremony to honor our veterans, in 2007 Wreaths Across American was formed as a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt non-profit organization.
Wreaths Across America’s mission is a year-round project, to Remember the men and women who served our country, Honor our military and their families, and Teach our children about our freedom and those who protect it. To find out more about this organization and what they do, their website, http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/, has details about what they do, and how you may help.
You can also donate funds to sponsor a remembrance wreath to help get wreathes placed on veterans graves. They are also still accepting donations for this years wreath-laying through December 1st. You can also sponsor a remembrance wreath to be placed on a relatives or loved-ones grave at veterans cemeteries all across the United States, and several foreign cemeteries.
I urge everyone to help honor those who served in our military to keep us free.