Arlington at Christmas
Company in Maine Quietly Extends Respect to the Fallen for the Holidays
Readers may be interested to know that these wreaths — some 5,000 — are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well.
He’s done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state.
The Wreaths Across America story began over 15 years ago when Worcester Wreath Company (a for-profit commercial business from Harrington, Maine) began a tradition of placing wreaths on the headstones of our Nation’s fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.
Over that period of time, Worcester Wreath has donated 75,000 wreaths which were placed by volunteers in a wreath-laying ceremony each December. This year, Worcester Wreath Company will do even more to show its respect and appreciation for those who serve, by doing the following:
Doubling its annual donation to 10,000 wreaths destined for Arlington National Cemetery.
In addition to the Arlington Wreath Project, Worcester Wreath will donate 2,500 wreaths to the Maine Veterans Cemetery at Togus, and over 1,800 ceremonial wreaths, representing all branches of the armed forces, will be sent to over 200 other state and national veterans cemeteries across the Country.
For the first time in 2007, ceremonial wreaths will also be donated to 24 veterans cemeteries on foreign soil, and aboard U.S. ships sailing in all seven seas.
All wreath-laying ceremonies will be held concurrently on Saturday, December 15th, at 12:00 noon EST.
And lastly, on Monday, December 10th, 51 wreaths will be donated for a special wreath-laying ceremony at each State Capital and 36" ceremonial wreath for our Nation’s Capital.
Needless to say Worcester Wreath Co. is by far the largest donor to the Wreaths Across America project and they are dedicated to this project for many years to come. It is a vision that we will one day honor every veterans’ memory for the holidays, as a way to show our gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made to preserve our freedoms.
Wreaths Across America was formed as a non-profit organization (501-C3 status – EIN 20-8362270) in 2007, in direct response to the many letters and requests from supporters all around the Country, about how they too could get involved and bring the Arlington Wreath Project experience to their local communities.
Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell…
In business since 1971, Worcester Wreath has grown into the premier wholesaler of holiday balsam products. As L.L. Bean’s largest direct ship vendor, the two companies have worked in partnership for over 25 years in providing the freshest Maine wreaths, trees, and centerpieces – the most traditional of holiday gifts.
In what began in 1992 as one man’s dream and a hearfelt gesture, Worcester Wreath Company initiated the Arlington National Cemetery project – donating over 5000 wreaths each year to adorn the headstones of our fallen veterans.
2006 marks both the 15th anniversary of the Arlington Wreath Project, and the start of the Wreaths Across America campaign to honor veterans in each and every State and National cemetery across the country.
It begins with a hand-made wreath, but Worcester Wreath President Morrill Worcester is quick to remind everyone who will listen, that "it takes a lot of hands and a lot of hearts to make this happen each year. It is our way of giving something back, because without the sacrifices of our Veterans, and their families, we wouldn’t be in a position to do any of this.
The Arlington Project and Wreaths Across America is about the spirit of appreciation for what we have, and a determination to give something back."
Worcester Wreath Company – from its start in an old converted school house in Harrington, Maine