Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
Ronald Reagan – 40th United States President (1911 – 2004)
From Arlington to Across America
Wreaths Across America™, a non profit 501-c3 organization, was formed as an extension of the Arlington Wreath Project. The Arlington Wreath program was started by Morrill Worcester (Worcester Wreath) in 1992 with the donation and laying of 5000 Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. This became an annual journey for Mr. Worcester. Read more about this in the History of Arlington.
It was relatively obscure until 2005 when a photo of the stones adorned with wreaths and covered in snow circulated around the internet. The project received National attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to emulate the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries spurred the creation of “Wreaths Across America™”. Unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each state, Mr. Worcester conceived the idea of sending 7 wreaths (one for each branch of the military as well as POW/MIA). In 2006 with the help of the CAP and other civic organizations, over 150 locations held wreath laying ceremonies simultaneously.
The Patriot Guard Riders volunteered as escort for the wreaths going to Arlington. This began the annual “Veterans Honor Parade” that travels the east coast in early December.
By 2007 the requests for more wreaths grew. The Worcester family established the non-profit group Wreaths Across America™ to further promote Veterans remembrance. The mission Remember, Honor and Teach characterized the projects goals perfectly.
By 2008 over 300 locations held wreath laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 over seas cemeteries. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans graves. Over 60,000 volunteers participated.
WAA reached out to thousands of children with the message of Remember, Honor and Teach. The importance of honoring each fallen serviceman as an individual is stressed.
The wreath laying is now held annually on the second Saturday of December. December 13, 2008 was unanimously voted by the US Congress as “Wreaths Across America™ Day”. Wreaths Across America™ would not be successful without the help of the volunteers, many active organizations and the generosity of the trucking industry.
We collectively thank our military and their families for “Our Freedom”!
For more information visit http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/