In December 1992 in Harrington, Maine, when wreath maker Morrill Worcester found himself with a surplus of 5,000 wreaths during the holiday season. Worcester saw the surplus as an opportunity to pay tribute to our country’s veterans and with the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arranged for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery. This annual tribute to our country’s veterans has continued ever since, touching the lives of millions of veterans’ families and volunteers and growing in scope through the years.
In 2007, the Worcester family along with veterans and volunteers formed the non-profit organization Wreaths Across America to continue and expand their efforts at Arlington National Cemetery and to support those around the country who wished to do the same. Wreaths Across America’s mission is simple: Remember the fallen, Honor those that serve, and Teach the next generation about the value of freedom. Morrill’s wife, Karen, has served as the organization’s volunteer Executive Director since the non-profit was created and today oversees what has become a massive volunteer organization that continues to grow. In 2018, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers placed nearly 2 million veterans’ wreaths at over 1,600 locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.
This year, National Wreaths Across America day will be held on Saturday, December 14th 2019. Locally, a ceremony will begin at 10:00 followed by the placement of wreaths at Ridgelawn Cemetery located at 14476 N. 104th E. Avenue where approximately 715 local veterans are laid to rest. This is open to anyone who would like to attend.
This is the first year for the City of Collinsville to participate as an official location in the Wreaths Across America program. This year the goal is to place a wreath on each and every Veterans grave leaving
none without a veterans’ wreath. With support from the public and the generosity of our local businesses, the city hopes to meet this goal and ensure no veteran is forgotten. Each hand made, fresh, live wreath cost $15 to sponsor and is made in the United States with Maine balsam.
This year’s Wreaths Across America theme is Everyone Plays a Part. In preparation for the 2019 ceremony, the city will be hosting various fundraising activities and are hoping to make this event a true success.
“The community of Collinsville has always come together to support our Veterans,” stated Communications Coordinator, Sherry Campbell. “We are hoping for overwhelming support of this meaningful cause.”
On behalf of the volunteers and military families looking to honor all the veterans laid to rest at Ridgelawn Cemetery, and the Wreaths Across America extended family, the city would like to thank everyone for their consideration of this patriotic cause. Those interested in supporting the mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach can contact Sherry Campbell, Communications Coordinator for the City of Collinsville by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (918) 371-1010 ext. 2026. Viisit the City of Collinsville Wreaths Across America webpage to sign up to volunteer or sponsor a wreath at https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/ok0061.