You’ve probably heard about National Wreaths Across America Day, a day of honor and remembrance for veterans during the holiday season. But here are some things you may not know about the event.
Wreaths Across America was started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester, the owner of Worcester Wreath Company. That year the Worcester Wreath Company found themselves with a surplus of wreaths following the holiday season. Mr. Worcester was unsure of what to do with these wreaths, but he did not want them to go to waste. He decided to donate the wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery to be placed in the older sections of the cemetery that had been receiving fewer visitors.
Other organizations stepped in to help with the effort and the wreaths were transported all the way to Virginia, decorated with red, hand-tied bows and laid on the veteran’s graves.
It wasn’t until 7 years later that the annual tribute gained national attention. Until that point it had been a quiet affair. But in 2005 a photo of the headstones, each with its own wreath, circulated on the internet. Thousands of people started calling, wanting to know how they could help or wishing to do the same thing at other National and State cemeteries.
In 2007, Wreaths Across America was formed to continue the service.
Today, the movement has grown considerably with more and more cemeteries taking place every year. If you are interested you can lay your own wreath on your family veterans graves. Or you can look up events in your area.
While Wreaths Across America Day was started to honor veterans, laying a wreath or holiday decoration at the cemetery for any loved one can be a way to cope with your loss during the holiday season.
If you would like to get involved with Wreaths Across America, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.