In 2007, the Worcester family, along with veterans and others who had helped with their annual wreath ceremony in Arlington, Va., formed the nonprofit Wreaths Across America™(WAA) to expand the reach of the annual program. The WAA concept was to help members of groups around the country who also wanted to place remembrance wreaths at veterans’ interment sites.
Last year, nearly 1.8 million remembrance wreaths were placed across the country, 253,000 of them at Arlington National Cemetery. This was accomplished with the help of more than 3,000 fundraising groups, corporate contributions, pro-bono work contributed by trucking and shipping companies, and 2 million volunteers who participated at over 2,200 locations nationwide. In 2018, the mission advanced overseas with the first placement of 9,387 veterans’ wreaths at Normandy-American Cemetery in France. In 2019, 13,364 wreaths were placed in Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The annual pilgrimage from Harrington, Maine, to Arlington National Cemetery is known as the world’s largest veterans parade, stopping at schools, monuments, veterans’ homes, and communities all along the way to remind people how important it is to remember, honor, and teach.
Sponsored remembrance wreaths are placed at participating cemeteries and the proceeds from the purchases help support the educational and veterans’ services outreach programs of fundraising partners such as the American Legion Auxiliary Oro Valley Unit 132. All sponsored wreaths are sent directly to the designated locations. The schedule of events is: Sunday, Dec. 5, is the start of the world’s largest veterans parade from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery and participating locations. On Monday, Dec. 6, there will be State House wreath-laying ceremonies in all 50 States and Puerto Rico. On Saturday, Dec. 18, there will be simultaneous wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,100 locations all across the country and beyond (10 a.m. Arizona local time). You can volunteer to help place the wreaths. Order your wreath(s) by Nov. 30 to ensure timely delivery.