Wreaths Across America convoy begins

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Monday, December 07, 2015

The annual Wreaths Across America convoy is officially underway.

After participating in ceremonies on Saturday in Maine, the convoy of 12 truck drivers hauling Christmas wreaths began its trek toward Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday. The trip will conclude this Saturday when thousands of volunteers place 230,000 wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers.

“It’s been an amazing journey, and we’re only in our second full day,” Wreaths Across America media representative Susan Patten said while on a stop Monday afternoon at Wells Middle School in Maine. “Everywhere we’ve been, the reception has been exceptional. Every community we go through, there are people lined up thanking us. There have been soldiers in full uniform saluting us as we drive by. It’s been tremendous.”

The program was originated by Morrill Worcester, who owns the Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. The annual event, which began in 1992 with a trailer load of wreaths placed on the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery, has evolved into a national organization with about 1,100 participating locations.

In addition to the 12 trucks headed toward Arlington, there are many more on their way to various ceremonies across the United States hauling a total of 900,000 wreaths.

Wreaths Across America statehouse ceremonies were slated in all 50 states Monday. National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday with ceremonies taking place at more than 1,000 locations. Patten said the undertaking is helped by 600,000 volunteers nationwide.

The convoy to Arlington, which is being escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders, includes various stops at schools and veteran memorials along the way. Arrival at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. EST on Saturday.

A live feed of the journey to Arlington National Cemetery can be viewed at http://waa.oakhurstdairy.com/.

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