Wreaths Across America Honors 325,000 Veterans Nationwide
90,000 Holiday Wreaths Placed at Arlington National Cemetery by More than 15,000 Volunteers
COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine – Dec. 14, 2011 – On Saturday, Dec. 10, Wreaths Across America (WAA) organized the placement of nearly 90,000 holiday wreaths on the headstones of our nation’s fallen military at Arlington National Cemetery. This effort coincided with 740 additional wreath-laying ceremonies coordinated by WAA at locations across the country — including 25 overseas — for a total of 325,000 donated wreaths this year, the most in the organization’s 20-year history.
The wreaths’ journey to Arlington has become a tradition over the past two decades, allowing locals along the more than 700-mile route to share in the emotional and educational experience as the WAA convoy of long-haul tractor-trailers, buses, police and motorcycles passed through their hometowns. The trip to Arlington National Cemetery started Sunday, Dec. 4 in Harrington, Maine, and ended at Arlington this past Saturday to the welcome of more than 15,000 volunteers who had come out to support the effort.
“We are so grateful to the thousands of people who came out to support us this year in our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. Without our volunteers, donors and sponsorships — and the trucking companies that transported the wreaths to Arlington — honoring so many deserving veterans this year would not have been possible,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “The passion and emotion of those that came out today helped renew our commitment to soon be able ensure every veteran at rest at Arlington is recognized with a holiday wreath. This is a goal that we will continue to strive for until it becomes a reality.”
The wreaths placed at Arlington will remain through the New Year and will be collected on Jan. 28, 2012. To volunteer for the cleanup effort, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/events/escort-to-arlington/.
About Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 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 on the second or third Saturday of 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.