This Saturday, December 13th, I will have the honor of delivering a load of Christmas wreaths all the way from Columbia Falls, Maine to the Arlington National Cemetery in support of Wreaths Across America (WAA). I will be delivering one of over 60 truck loads of wreaths to Arlington alone. There are over 400,000 graves at Arlington so even with all those wreaths, not all graves will receive one. WAA is growing each year and working with its sponsors to one day place a wreath at all of the graves.
This is how it began: In 1992, Worcester Wreath Company found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Remembering a childhood trip to Arlington, Mr. Morrill Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country’s Veterans. With the help 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, a section which had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year.
The annual tribute went on quietly for several years, until 2005, when a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the project received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help with Arlington, to emulate the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes.
Fast forward to 2013; more than 500,000 wreaths were delivered to almost 900 veterans cemeteries across the United States. Since 2012, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has coordinated this nationwide effort, as well as raised money for the placement of wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. Follow this link to learn how to participate. You can follow them on Facebook by clicking here.
Hopefully, by my next blog I'll have some pictures to show and a recap of the whole experience. I want to thank Freightliner for helping to sponsor my participation in this cause as well as Lava Enterprises, Inc in Danville, VA for the use of a dry van trailer.