COLUMBIA FALLS, ME… Wreaths Across America was founded by Morrill Worcester from Columbia Falls, Maine. A visit to Arlington National Cemetery as a young boy left a lasting impression on him. Years later, in 1992, Morrill Worcester’s wreath company, Worcester Wreath Company, had a surplus of 5,000 wreaths, which Worcester transported to Arlington National Cemetery and laid at the headstones of veterans. It was then that Morrill Worcester realized that each of these veterans was a unique individual with their own story to tell and that their name should not be forgotten.
It was a tribute that Morrill and his family quietly carried on for 10 more years. As the movement gained national attention, the project grew bigger and bigger each year. In 2007 a core group of dedicated volunteers formed Wreaths Across America as a non-profit organization. Today, Wreaths Across America provides wreaths to veterans’ graves in cemeteries all across the USA. In 2016 the organization delivered 1.2 million wreaths and project that will they will deliver 1.5 million wreaths in 2017.
Wreaths Across America (WAA) is a volunteer driven organization. There are many ways to volunteer to help. An integral part of WAA is the transportation of the wreaths to various destinations. This is achieved by a group of Professional Truck Drivers who volunteer their time and equipment to deliver a load of wreaths. In 2016 it required 370 trucks and WAA anticipates needing 450 trucks this holiday season. The wreaths are delivered the first two weeks of December. If you would like to volunteer your services as one of the additional 100 trucks, call Rob Worcester at 207-598-7519 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Drivers pick up the wreaths on the East Coast at Columbia Falls, Maine, about 75 miles east of Bangor, for destinations east of the Mississippi. For destinations in the Midwest and West, wreaths are cross-docked at locations in Illinois and Mississippi.
On December 16. 2017 wreaths across America volunteers will meet at Arlington National Cemetery to honor our veterans by laying a wreath at their headstone and saying their name aloud to Remember, Honor and Teach as a tribute that they will not be forgotten.
There are many ways to support Wreaths Across America, from hauling a load, donating wreaths or supporting your local cemetery. There are 1,200 cemeteries across the USA that participates in the Wreaths Across America program and WAA is always looking to add more. This year’s theme is “I’m An American, Yes I Am”. To learn more about Wreaths Across America, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org or phone 877-385-9504.
Caption: Left to right: Morrill Worcester, Karen Worcester, Wayne Hanson and Rob Worcester.