It all begins with the rugged balsam fir tree grown in Downeast Maine.
The fir bough tips of those trees are harvested in the fall, and a remembrance wreath is created from ten evergreen bouquets which represent the honorable qualities our veterans embody. The wreath is adorned with a single red bow signifying the great sacrifice of our servicemen and women and their families.
The tip land in Maine's Washington County, owned by Wreaths Across America's Founder Morrill Worcester, is fast becoming a destination location for Gold Star/Blue Star families and friends as memorial sites and monuments are added to honor veterans.
One site recently dedicated is for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and trees in that section of the tip land can be selected and tagged for officers who have been killed in the line of duty or who died while serving. After extensive military careers, many veterans continue their service by joining their community police agencies.
Wreaths Across America is grateful for the support we receive annually from law enforcement agencies that make it possible for the convoy of wreaths and special guests to travel safely from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery.
To be sure they're never forgotten for their dedication and service to our nation, from Stem to Stone we Say Their Names.
More information on the remembrance tree program is available here.
American Military University, with our strong military heritage, has proudly supported Wreaths Across America since 2011 and has again donated 1,000 wreaths for Arlington National Cemetery this year.
Each December, the excitement grows in anticipation for the Wreaths Across America escort of remembrance wreaths heading to Arlington National Cemetery from Maine. It has become known as the country’s longest veterans parade, and this year, the weeklong journey kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 10.
There's no better way to recognize Veterans Day 2016 than to announce a meaningful partnership between Wreaths Across America and Easter Seals Veterans Count and to ramp up sponsorships of remembrance wreaths.
"If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten"~Kipling
At Wreaths Across America, we know every stone tells a story and our mission to remember, honor, and teach will come to life on National Wreaths Across America Day Saturday, December 17, 2016. Join us for our Inaugural Living History Project.
For years, American Gold Star Mothers has played a crucial support role for thousands of families across this country,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA. “This official partnership is truly an honor for me, and I’m eager to start our work together. Our combined efforts will no doubt help to shape and inform the next generation of patriots."
One site recently dedicated is for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and trees in that section of the tip land can be selected and tagged for officers who have been killed in the line of duty or who died while serving.
The annual escort to Arlington National Cemetery to honor our fallen is a life-changing experience filled with patriotism, pride, and heartfelt gratitude. The window of opportunity to participate in the journey is closing fast!
"Throughout my recovery, I have had amazing experiences I can't explain that have helped me realize with each of my losses I have grown stronger and empowered," Smith said. "It's like the balsam fir tree that has some of its limbs removed in the tipping process to make remembrance wreaths. The tree isn't destroyed in the pruning process; it manages to thrive, flourish, and give back."
"I got to tell Tanner's story and to share that for Patti meant more to me than the whole time I've done these ceremonies. At that point, I really and truly understood the importance of the ceremony for a family who has lost someone. Our children need to be taught to understand what these families have given up."
Many of these balsam fir trees have been selected and tagged as family remembrance trees as part of the Wreaths Across America Stem to Stone Tree Tagging program and our second annual "Hero Hay Ride" is coming right up!