By Jon James|
Remember, honor, teach. Those are three words that are the mission statement of Wreaths Across America, which began here in Maine in 2007.
The first Wreaths Across America Day was held in 2008 on December 13th. This year, it’s this coming Wednesday.
On Sunday, we decided to meet some friends, who were on their way back from Blue Hill where they did some wreath laying of their own, at Rollie’s Bar and Grill to have some lunch and enjoy the parade.
My wife, Marie-Anne, who works for the V.A., was especially moved by this as she hopes to, one day, take part in the effort and travel to the capital with the wreaths.
Although it was wet and rainy, people, including me, stood outside taking video and pictures of the patriotic display, which included police and fire departments from all over Maine. I’ve included a glimpse of the vehicles in a short video below.
Here’s a little more about the history of the organization from WeAreTheMighty.com:
The first National Wreaths Across America Day was held on December 13th, 2008. That year, volunteers laid 2,221 wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. The military community has Morrill Worcester, the owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine,to thank for the event that has become a national movement.
Each year, Worcester pitched surplus wreaths. One day, he had an “a-ha” moment. What if instead of disposing of those surplus wreaths, he donated them to be placed on the graves of fallen soldiers? Thus the idea for National Wreaths Across America Day was born. So Worcester reached out to Arlington National Cemetery. He asked if he could donate his surplus wreaths to be placed on the graves. The answer was yes—but only if he could do it within five days. The mil community rallied and Worcester delivered the wreaths and placed them on graves in time. From that humble beginning, National WAA Day has grown into an annual tradition observed across the country.
If there’s a veteran in your life who has passed, a wreath on their gravesite is a wonderful way to remember them and honor their memory. Thanks to this incredible project, the Christmas wreath has become somewhat synonymous with our fallen soldiers.