Wreaths Across America provides wreaths for Montana State Veterans Cemetery

21 December, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Scene from Wreaths Across America Saturday morning at Santa Fe National Cemetery

The national Wreaths Across America organization, which was formed as an extension of the Arlington Wreath Project, has been placing wreaths since 1992. The weather on Saturday proved to be much nicer than a year ago with sunny skies and temperatures near 40 degrees.

Methuen historian Joe Bella places a wreath as part of Wreaths Across America Day at Hilldale Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 16.

The annual event, founded by ME wreath-maker Morrill Worcester, honors those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

"It is a chance for us to come and pray for the men who fought for us", she said.

By 2014, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers laid more than 700,000 memorial wreaths at 1,000 locations in the United States and beyond, including ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites of the September 11 tragedies.

The day started off with two police and motorcycle escorts of semi-trucks full of wreaths donated by sponsors from around the world to be placed on gravesites of the fallen.

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Participants placed remembrance wreaths on graves on veterans.

Anne Judge, mother of troop member Jane, said participating in the event is important.

Started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester of ME, his goal of placing a wreath on every veteran's grave in the country and beyond has become a reality with more than 100,000 wreaths placed by more than 60,000 volunteers.

"Our first ceremony was last December at Soldiers Walk in Arcadia, Wisconsin's Memorial Park", recalled Steve Ralston, director of safety at Ashley Distribution Services and a U.S. Army veteran.

Volunteers braved the wet weather Saturday morning and placed wreaths all over the cemetery.

Inspiration for the event began when Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company, was 12 years old and won a trip to Washington, D.C. At that time, he was working as a paperboy for the Bangor Daily News. "It is really moving to see young people participating from organizations like the American Heritage Girls and other youth development organizations", he said.



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