Saturday, December 15, is Wreaths Across America Day. On the third Saturday of December, thousands of volunteers will honor and remember our nation’s veterans by laying more than a million wreaths at soldiers’ cemeteries across the United States and overseas.
The story of this tradition began in the state of Maine in 1992, when the Worcester Wreath Company first honored those who serve by donating remembrance wreaths, transporting and placing the wreaths on graves at the Arlington National Cemetery. By 2007, the nonprofit organization Wreaths Across America had formed, expanding the outreach. Organizing a nationwide effort, Wreaths Across America has continued to cooperate with family, friends, and volunteers to place wreaths on the graves of servicemen and servicewomen at cemeteries throughout the country during the December holiday season.
For a number of years, the U.S. Congress has recognized this undertaking. On December 11 of this year, the U.S. senators from Maine once again introduced a resolution which was passed by the Senate. Senate Resolution 719 designates December 15, 2018, as “Wreaths Across America Day.” The full text of the resolution is available at this link: S. Res. 719. The resolution recalls the mission of Wreaths Across America to “Remember, Honor, Teach”:
(1) remembering the fallen heroes of the United States;
(2) honoring those who serve; and
(3) teaching the next generation of children about–
(A) the service of veterans; and
(B) the sacrifices made by veterans and the families of veterans to preserve the freedoms enjoyed by the people of the United States;
S. Res. 719, 115th Congress (2017-2018)
Activities have been in progress to culminate with Saturday’s events. On Monday, a wreath laying ceremony was held at the U.S. Capitol and at state capitols across the nation, including our own. That same day, a convoy with patriotic escort set out from Maine to transport the balsam fir wreaths once again to the Arlington National Cemetery. The story of Wreaths Across America continues on this third Saturday of December, as wreaths are delivered to cemeteries throughout the country and thousands of people gather to pay respects, lay wreaths, and speak the names of those who have sacrificed.
For additional details regarding Wreaths Across America locations and ceremonies at national and state veterans cemeteries, view these websites :
- National Cemetery Administration-2018 Wreaths Across America Ceremonies
- Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs
- Wreaths Across America–Locations