Today, volunteers across the globe placed millions of wreaths at the gravesites of America’s fallen vets.
December 18th is National Wreaths Across America Day. The holiday was designated to “remember our fallen U.S. heroes, honor those who serve, and teach your children the value of freedom.”
The Wreaths Across America program lays wreaths on the gravestones of fallen service members in an effort to honor their ultimate sacrifice. Family members and volunteers decorate the stones inside Arlington National Cemetery and 2,500 other locations across the country.
The organization also ships over 2 million wreaths to U.S. headstones across the world, according to Fox 5 DC.
The event begins with an annual march along the East Coast. This year, people met in Maine on December 11th. And over the course of a week, they worked their way to Arlington, delivering wreaths to schools, memorials, and other locations along the way.
“Honoring veterans is extremely important,” Cindy Kauffman, daughter of a US Army veteran, told Fox News. “It’s extremely important that we don’t ever forget what our veterans have done for us. They’ve been giving their lives for our freedom. Those who serve deserve our respect.”
Cindy Kauffman joined hundreds of Hawthorne, New York, volunteers today, which is something she does every year. Kauffmann comes from a long line of service members, including her father, who was an Army pilot.
“I have a deep appreciation for those who serve and who give up part of their life, or sometimes all of it,” she said.
How Wreaths Across America Began Honoring Fallen Vets
Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, is the founder of Wreaths Across America. In 1992, his company had a surplice of supplies. So he headed to Arlington and laid them on as many gravestones as he could.
For over a decade, Worcester and a few family members continued the tradition. Then in 2005, pictures of the wreaths began to circulate on social media. And thousands of people wrote to Morrill Worcester asking to help.
Two years later, the Worchester family partnered with veterans across the country and formed a non-profit 501-(c)(3) organization.
Wreaths Across America primarily works to bring cheer to the families of fallen vets during the holiday season. But it hopes its mission will also help honor service members year-round.
“While coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies each December on National Wreaths Across America Day is a big part of what we do,” the group writes, “our mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach is carried out throughout the year,” “From our Remembrance Tree program to the Wreaths Across America Museum in Maine, there are many different ways in which you can get involved!”