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.
This year, I again had the privilege of driving the new Cascadia to Columbia Falls, Maine and loading up with one of 65 loads bound for Arlington National Cemetery. The area received 8" of snow the day before I arrived, but the Mainers are quite used to rough winters and quickly cleared the roads for smooth sailing.
This year, over 1.2 million wreaths were placed on veteran's graves nationwide at over 1238 participating locations. There were 245,000 wreaths placed in Arlington where I delivered. Thanks to Truckload Carriers Association for handling the logistics and the volunteer carriers for making this all happen. I would also like to thank Freightliner Trucks for the use of the truck and their tremendous support in helping to undertake this herculean task.