It’s that time of year again! We’re already excited to be a carrier for Wreaths Across America (WAA) again this year. We delivered wreathes last year, and the experience was extremely meaningful for our team and our family.
WAA is currently scheduling loads for delivery. Sebago Signworks trucks and crew will be driving and delivering to cemeteries in New York state. What an amazing and heart-warming cause to support!
Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, was a paperboy for the Bangor Daily News when he won a trip to Washington D.C. when he was 12 years old. Arlington National Cemetery made a powerful impression on him during this first visit of the young boy’s life. This first experience in our nation’s capital followed him throughout his life and successful career. It served as a reminder to him that his good fortune was due, in large part, to the values of this nation. Those values forged by the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
In 1992, Worcester Wreath Company had a surplus of wreaths toward the end of the holiday season. Remembering his childhood experience at Arlington, Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country’s veterans. With the aid of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery that had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year.
Many individuals and organizations stepped up to help. Local trucking companies, VFW posts, Senators, and many other individuals joined the effort, which grew every year. The annual tribute went on quietly for several years. Then in 2005, a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. This photo “went viral” as we say now, and suddenly the project received national attention. Requests poured in by the thousands from all over the country from people wanting to help. People also wanted to expand the effort at their own National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes.
What started as an annual trip to Arlington, and grew into more and more groups of volunteers eager to participate in Worcester’s simple wreath-laying event, needed a more official and appropriate organization to manage this amazing effort. It had become clear that the desire to remember and honor our country’s fallen heroes was bigger than Arlington, and bigger than this one company.
In 2007, the Worcester family, along with veterans, and other groups and individuals who had helped with their annual veterans wreath ceremony in Arlington, formed Wreaths Across America, a non-profit 501-(c)(3) organization. The goal was to continue and expand the effort, and support other groups around the country who wanted to do the same.
“The annual trip to Arlington and the groups of volunteers eager to participate in Worcester’s simple wreath-laying event grew each year until it became clear the desire to remember and honor our country’s fallen heroes was bigger than Arlington, and bigger than this one company.”
Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, WAA’s mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. Additionally, wreaths are placed at more than 3,400 other memorial locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.
Join this important mission of Wreaths Across America by sponsoring a veterans’ wreath at a cemetery near you, volunteering, or donating to a local sponsorship group.