Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, was a 12 year old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News when he won a trip to Washington D.C. His first trip to our nation’s capital was one he would never forget, and Arlington National Cemetery made an especially indelible impression on him.
In 1992, Worcester Wreath found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Remembering his boyhood experience at Arlington, Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country’s Veterans. With the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery.
The annual tribute went on quietly for several years, until 2005, when a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the project received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help with Arlington, to emulate the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes.
Unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each state, Worcester began sending seven wreaths to every state, one for each branch of the military, and for POW/MIAs. In 2006, with the help of the Civil Air Patrol and other civic organizations, simultaneous wreath laying ceremonies were held at over 150 locations around the country. The Patriot Guard Riders volunteered as escorts for the wreaths going to Arlington. Thus began the annual “Veterans Honor Parade” that travels the east coast in early December.
A few interesting facts:
- What began in 1992 with a trailer load of wreaths, decorated by volunteers and laid at the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery has now become a national organization with over 900 participating locations – all focused on the mission to Remember – Honor – and Teach.
- There were a total of 716,000 wreaths placed over the US in 2014.
- TLD Logistics Services added themselves to hauling for this patriotic organization in 2012 by hauling one truckload of wreathes. This year, we currently have four trucks with six drivers assisting in this solemn recognition of our military fallen. This year’s drivers include:
Bill France – Patriot
Johnny Brown – USMC (Retired)
Bob Anderson – Patriot
Jeremy McCoy – Patriot
Charles Lee – US Army
Tony Gossett – US Army
For all the other Vet’s and Service Men and Women not only at TLD, but across America you have our deepest thanks for all you have done and are still doing.