Wreaths Across America is a charitable organization that places wreaths on every grave at Arlington National Cemetery each Christmas season. It was initially established to ensure that older graves were not left bare after family and friends were no longer around to remember the fallen soldier. Since its first event in 1992, it has grown to include the graves of other soldiers in a variety of cemeteries around the country. The trip from Maine, where the wreaths are made, to Washington, DC is now a journey that includes informational stops at a number of schools and parades through many of the towns along the way.
The Founders of Wreaths Across America, the Worcester Wreath Company, makes all of the wreaths that are used for this ceremony. The owner of the company chose to perform this service in memory of the soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. His brainstorm came after one year that left the company with extra wreaths. Rather than throw away and waste all of the wreaths, he made a decision to use them in a meaningful way. Morrill Worcester had made his first visit to Arlington as a young boy and the memory of the graves, and what they stood for, had remained with him long after he had returned to Maine. When he realized he had product remaining, he remembered how empty the older sections of the cemetery had been and realized immediately what he wanted to do with his excess wreaths.
The experience was so rewarding for the company, and meant so much to veteran’s groups and families that were aware of what had been done, the company repeated the process the following year. Over the next few decades, it expanded into the amazing awareness campaign that it is today.
Making the christmas wreaths is an easy process for a company that already specializes in fresh, beautiful holiday arrangements. They maintain their own forest of sustainable trees where the branches are carefully harvested prior to each season. All of their products are made fresh for their orders, and they regularly ship their finished goods around the world.
Today their wreath laying ceremony is a community event that includes donations of money, trucks and drivers that make it possible to haul the thousands of wreaths across multiple states. The wreath shipment is followed on its journey by news crews and many others on social media. To learn more about purchasing wreaths for personal use or gifts, as well as to learn more about the Wreaths Across America cause, check out WorcesterWreath.com.