More than 143,000 Remembrance Wreaths Placed at Arlington National Cemetery and 540,000 Across the Country for National Wreaths Across America Day
ARLINGTON, VA and COLUMBIA FALLS, ME…
In December 2013, Wreaths Across America, along with nearly 30,000 volunteers, placed remembrance wreaths on the headstones of more than 143,000 veterans at Arlington National Cemetery. This was the organization’s 22nd year laying wreaths at our Nation’s cemetery and marks the largest number ever delivered. Across the country, 540,000 remembrance wreaths were placed in honor of our veterans at 908 locations (including Arlington).
Among those in attendance was Maine wreath-maker and founder of Wreaths Across America, Morrill Worcester, who began delivering wreaths to Arlington in 1992 as a gift. Since the organization’s inception as a 501c3 in 2007, he has seen his vision grow to include more than 1,000 fundraising groups and over 900 cemeteries nationwide. “Next year marks the 150th anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery,” he noted. “It is our goal to lay remembrance wreaths on each headstone here, to honor this place, and the brave men and women laid to rest here.”
Also attending the event on were Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America, Patrick K. Hallinan, superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, Chris Burruss, president of the Truckload Carriers Association, Maine Governor Paul LePage and First Lady Ann LePage, country singer Lindsay Lawler and songwriter Chris Roberts, as well as several Gold Star families and countless veterans. “There is comfort in knowing that everyone here has been touched and inspired by those we came to honor,” said Karen Worcester. “Every day of our lives, in simple everyday joys, we see proof that their sacrifice was not in vain, and we are grateful.”
As part of the ceremony, Patriot Guard Riders laid a wreath at the grave of President John F. Kennedy. Later, Governor and Mrs. LePage placed a wreath at the USS Maine Memorial followed by a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
A convoy of more than 30 vehicles, including tractor trailers, buses, motorcycles and cars carrying wreaths, veterans, families of fallen soldiers, and supporters, delivered the wreaths from Maine after participating in a week-long convoy. The group stopped at schools, memorials and in communities in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, to share its mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.
This year, for the first time, a stop was made at the Statue of Liberty for the placement of a special Freedom Wreath. The wreath was placed at the Statue in a ceremony to commemorate and honor the men and women of our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve all Americans’ sacred right to freedom.
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester, in 1992. The organization’s mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as hundreds of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. For more information, to donate or to sign up to volunteer, please visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.
- Rebates to the owners of older construction equipment to either replace older engines that do not meet emissions standards with engines that meet either Tier 2 or Tier 3 standards;
- Rebates to the owners of equipment that meet more modern Tier 2 or Tier 3 emissions standards to install a diesel particulate filter, a proven technology that reduces fine particles, or soot, to near zero levels; and
- Targeted public funding to retrofit or repower equipment found only in regions with poor air quality.
“This new Rebate program dramatically streamlines the application process and reduces the burden from previous grant-based approaches. EPA has really worked hard to improve the process and reduce the paperwork required here down to a one-page application along with supporting documentation,” noted Schaeffer.
Federal Assistance for the Construction Equipment Funding Opportunity pilot program is provided through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).
Eligible applicants for this funding opportunity include regional, state, local or tribal agencies with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Private entities that operate nonroad construction equipment under a contract or lease with a public entity are also eligible to apply. Applicants must operate their equipment in areas of poor air quality, and a full list of eligible counties will be made available by EPA after November 20.
Applicants may submit one application that includes up to five engines. These five engines can be any combination of the technology options for a total maximum of $120,000 in rebate funding per applicant. The deadline to apply is January 15, 2014, after which time grants will be awarded on a lottery system. For more detailed information about the program requirements, eligible applicants and engines, please visit: http://epa.gov/cleandiesel/dera-rebate.htm.
“Upgrading the emissions performance of existing diesel engines and equipment through incentives such as rebates is a growing success story. Studies have shown that for every $1 in public investments made through DERA programs, attracts an additional $3 in non-federal matching funds including private sector investment to provide anywhere from $7 to $18 in benefits returns in the form of cleaner air and environmental benefits,” stated Schaeffer.
The Diesel Emission Reduction Act has helped reduce emissions from older diesel-powered vehicles and equipment beginning since 2008. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that projects receiving incentive funding between 2008 and 2010 reduced emissions of NOx, a smog forming compound, by 203,000 tons, reduced emissions of fine particles, or soot, by 12,500 tons and CO2 by 2.3 million tons.
Thanks to billions of dollars in research and investment by engine and equipment manufacturers, the new generation of 2014 construction machines now have near-zero emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Diesel particulate filters included in today’s announcement will achieve 89 percent emissions reductions for particulate matter (PM) as well as 93 percent reductions for hydrocarbons (HC) and 90 percent carbon monoxide (CO) reductions from original emissions levels.
“As an industry, we’re proud of our contribution to clean air, and especially the fact that we are attacking the emissions challenge on both ends, making the cleanest new technology possible while also applying that technology to many products and equipment already in use,” said Schaeffer.
The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit national organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology, and working with policymakers and other stakeholders on common solutions. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems.