What is Wreaths Across America?

Explore the origins and mission of Wreaths Across America, a touching tribute to veterans. Learn about its founder, annual ceremonies, inclusive reach, and the heartfelt efforts to honor our nation's heroes.

Wreaths Across America (WAA) is a non-profit organization built upon the idea of celebrating the lives and legacies of our nation’s veterans. Morrill Worcester, founder and owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Columbia Falls, Maine, started delivering wreaths to veteran graves in 1992 after he discovered his company had produced a surplus of wreaths around the holiday season. As a young boy, Worcester had visited Arlington National Cemetery – an experience that left a strong impression on him of the necessity of respecting the sacrifices of our veterans. Worcester returned to Arlington to place those surplus wreaths on veteran gravestones with the help of Senator Olympia Snowe, and ignited a tradition of remembrance that has grown into an enormous undertaking each year.

Since then, Worcester’s mission has expanded into a yearly nationwide effort. In 2007, he formally founded Wreaths Across America to manage increasing participation. The organization succinctly describes its guiding principles in three words: Remember, Honor, and Teach. Each year, it puts those principles into practice with its December wreath-laying ceremonies that stretch from their home base in Maine, to Arlington National Cemetery and indeed, across America.

WAA now places millions of wreaths on veterans graves at home, at sea, and abroad. In 2023 alone, more than 3 million sponsored veterans’ wreaths were placed with the support of millions of volunteers and over 332 trucking companies. WAA also hosts various initiatives and programs to ensure veterans and their families are remembered and honored throughout each year.

Who Gets a Wreath for Wreaths Across America?

Wreaths Across America’s reach is both extensive and fully inclusive. They place wreaths on graves of veterans from every branch of the military, no matter their rank or era of service. The organization simply aims to place their wreaths on every veteran’s grave, acknowledging their service and sacrifice, no matter the specifics.

This effort stretches across borders and boundaries, including national cemeteries like Arlington or the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, along with countless local and private cemeteries. They’re committed to remembering every veteran, every individual who served in the United States military, to ensure no one is forgotten. And when they place their wreaths on veterans’ graves, they speak every veteran name aloud.

“Our goal as an organization: for every veteran, whether domestic or abroad, to have a wreath and to be remembered each year," Courtney George shared on the Semi-Related Podcast.

Who Makes the Wreaths for Wreaths Across America?

WAA’s wreaths come from the balsam fir trees of Maine. The wreaths were originally entirely created and delivered by Worcester Wreath Company. Now, WAA enlists the help of tens of thousands of individuals and community groups across the country to ensure each grave receives its wreath.

The wreaths travel from Columbia Falls to cemeteries across the country and abroad in a massive collaborative effort. Local owner-operator truckers, small transportation companies, and mega-carriers alike help transport these wreaths along our nation’s highways to ensure they arrive safely and on-time at their destinations.

When is Wreaths Across America?

The origins of Wreaths Across America Day can be traced back to 2008, when the first official event was held on Saturday, December 13th. Since then, the tradition has continued with its specific date determined by Congressional resolution.

This year, Wreaths Across America Day will take place on December 14, 2024.

How Do I Participate in Wreaths Across America?

If you’d like to participate in a unique opportunity to honor our nation’s veterans, all you must do is volunteer. Taking part in Wreaths Across America Day involves joining a community effort made up of local businesses, civic groups, living veterans, and families. Often, more than a third of these volunteers are children. WAA proudly welcomes participants of all ages – simply register at a nearby location through the WAA website and join in this patriotic outing to ensure the legacy of each veteran’s service and sacrifice is never forgotten.

How Much is a Wreath for Wreaths Across America?

If you’d like to show your support for Wreaths Across America, you’ll find various levels of wreath sponsorship available. Individuals and organizations have the option to sponsor single wreaths or custom quantities, broken down into different costs as follows:

  • 1 Wreath Individual Sponsorship: $17
  • 2 Wreaths: $34.00
  • 5 Wreaths (Most Popular): $85.00
  • 10 Wreaths: $170.00
  • Custom Number of Wreaths: Variable pricing based on quantity.

Each sponsorship plays a critical role in enabling Wreaths Across America to continue its mission of honoring our veterans. Each wreath is its own deeply personal tribute symbolizing appreciation and respect for the sacrifices made by our veterans.


Similar posts

Want to see more?
Sign up to be notified!

Keep up to date with industry trends, news, and more.

Get notified