By VICKI BROWN
The Wreaths Across America trucks make a stop in Jacksonboro every year where supporters and volunteers gather before traveling on to the last stop at the National Cemetery in Beaufort. The event this year will be held on December 18.
Cars and vans full of families and motorcycle clubs will meet at the BP Station in Jacksonboro at 9 a.m. and leave at 10:00 a.m. with law enforcement escort to follow big rigs carrying thousands of wreaths to Beaufort to honor the fallen soldiers. The volunteers will lay the wreaths on thousands of graves.
Wreaths Across America is a non-profit organization that was started by Morrill Worcester of Harrington, Maine, who visited Arlington National Cemetery when he was 12 years old. It made a huge impression on him.
Because he appreciated the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, he began a project to donate Christmas wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery that had few visitors. The project grew from there.
Blue Bird Ranch trucking company provides free transportation, carrying the donated wreaths from Worcester’s wreath makers in Maine down to Virginia. Volunteers from the local American Legion and VFW Posts gather with members of the community in Virginia to decorate each wreath with traditional red bows. Then, other trucking companies donate their time and money to take the wreaths from Virginia to national cemeteries across the United States.
On December 18, which is the official National Wreaths Across America Day, a wreath-laying ceremony will occur at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 2,100 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states at sea and abroad.
The simple wreath-laying event has grown each year as the Worcester family formed Wreaths Across America, a non-profit 501-(c)(3) organization. Their goal is simple: to remember the veterans, honor the fallen soldiers, and teach the value of freedom in this country.
Wreaths can be given in memory or in honor of someone. The Wreaths Across America website has places to include information, along with an online payment of $15 per wreath.
“I think it is a small gesture for those that gave their all. We all could give up fast food for a month and donate 150.00 to this cause,” said Coordinator Miff Cone. “These men and women give up their free time to serve with strangers in laying wreaths. They return home with new brothers and sisters. That in itself is amazing and shows the dedication to the cause for all who participate.”
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