Before this year, the laying of wreaths at Arlington Cemetery was done by one man and a few voluteers. There was no publicity and no fanfare. This year, it's a little different. The effort has been the focus of our local news for the last few days, and is starting to hit the national news. You might have seen Wreaths Across America featured on NBC's Nightly News last night or read about it in your local paper. Worchester Wreaths, Maine's largest producer of balsam Christmas wreaths, first started decorating Arlington Cemetery 15 years ago.
According to owner Merrill Worchester, one year he realized that he had about 5,000 extra wreaths and instead of letting them go to waste, he called Senator Olympia Snowe and with her help donated the wreaths in honor of those who have given their lives for our country. He never stopped.
This year, the effort goes national with wreaths being sent to every state and Puerto Rico.
A caravan from Washington County Maine to Washington, DC is planned, and the Civil Air Patrol will assist in delivering the wreaths to each state. The caravan leaves Harrington on Sunday December 10 and the ceremony will take place on December 14.