National Wreaths Across America Day
National Wreaths Across America Day:
Celebrated on the third Saturday every December, the National Wreaths Across America Day honors the veterans who served the nation to their last breath. This day is reminiscent of their ultimate sacrifice and is an event where communities across the nation join together to do their part in paying their tributes to the veterans of valor.
|2020||19th December||Saturday||United States|
|2021||18th December||Saturday||United States|
|2022||17th December||Saturday||United States|
Why Wreaths Across America Day?
The origin of this day begins with an experience of a 12-year-old paperboy, Morrill Worcester who sold the Bangor Daily. He won a ticket to Washington DC and on his tour, the visit to the Arlington National Cemetery made a lasting impression on his young mind. Later on, this boy grew up to be the founder and executive director of Wreaths Across America.
It all began in 1992 when the Worcester Wreath, a family business run by Morrill Worcester, ended up with an excess of wreaths. Even as he grew up and got into a successful career, he remembered that he owed a large part of his life and career to the veterans who were willing to die for the country and the people.
The wreaths were placed in one of the oldest sections of the Arlington cemetery which had a deteriorating number of visitors as the years went by. Well-wishers like James Prout who owned a trucking Company provided transportation. Volunteers from organizations like VFW posts and local American Legion along with the members of the Maine State Society of Washington D.C were involved in the preparation and the wreath-laying ceremony.
The annual tribute went on in the same manner up until 2005. This year became a turning point when a photo of the wreath and snow-covered Arlington stone went viral on the internet, subsequently attracting national attention. This led to scores of requests from people offering to help, to implement the Arlington project in their own areas.
The event grew bigger and popular each year and it was evident that this deed of honoring the fallen heroes was bigger than the company and Worcester himself. A non-profit organization Wreaths Across America(WAA), was formed by the Worcester family, groups, individuals and veterans who were part of the annual tribute in 2007 with an aim to diversify efforts and help other groups across the country who wished to do the same.
Besides the annual tribute, WAA organizes various programmes such as the “Thanks a Million” campaign which distributes cards across the country to thank the veterans for their service. The WAA is also committed to educate and remind the younger generation to honour the veterans who are the guardians of their freedom.
The vision of WAA is to remember the fallen veterans and its mission is to honor them and their families and to teach the coming generations that the value of freedom is the value of their blood. The wreaths that are a symbol of everlasting life is a representation of the everlasting memory of the heroes of our nation, a story written in red and remembered in green.
How Can We Observe National Wreaths Across America Day?
- Be a proponent of the WAA vision and mission!
Remember, Honor and Teach the next generation about these warriors and their significance in history and our life by conducting seminars, events etc.
- Offer yourself in their honor
Volunteer and be part of programmes and events organized by the WAA, local communities etc
- A gift of gratitude.
Find out about the veterans in your society, visit their families, send them a small token of your love and gratitude. You can sponsor a wreath and also be a part of the WAA day by contacting their location coordinators who can direct you to local cemeteries or memorial walls for the wreath-laying ceremony.
- Let the world Know.
Post the pictures and videos of your celebration with #NationalWreathsAcrossAmericaDay and #WreathsAcrossAmericaDay
Interesting Facts On National Wreaths Across America Day:
- In 2018, April 20 the founders of Wreaths Across America were honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Patriot Award
- By 2012 Wreaths Across America laid its one-millionth wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.
- In 2011, wreath-laying ceremonies were conducted across 750 cemeteries and major battle sites such as Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and 9/11 sites.
- Wreaths Across America has also extended its help to other nonprofit organizations like Scouts, Civil air patrol etc.
- An annual pilgrimage from Maine to Arlington is conducted by the WAA and is known as the world’s largest veterans parade.
- The Veterans Remembrance Tree program was organized by the WAA which allows the Gold Star families to visit the lands where balsams are harvested for the wreaths made for the veterans in Columbia Falls, Maine.
- WAA also provides books and even a curriculum to help school children to learn and appreciate the role of veterans which can be downloaded from their website.
History Of National Wreaths Across America Day:
A combination of a surplus of up to 5000 wreaths at the Worcester Wreath Company and the childhood experience of Morrill Worcester in the Arlington cemetery led to the first wreath-laying ceremony in 1992. The National Wreaths Across America Day was recognized by the Congress unanimously on December 13, 2008.