Wreaths Across America Dayby Senator Susan M. Collins
Posted on 2015-12-08
COLLINS. Mr. President, I am pleased to have joined with my
colleague, Senator Angus King, in sponsoring this resolution to
designate December 12, 2015, as Wreaths Across America Day. Since its
inception, the Wreaths Across America project has become an annual
tradition of donating, transporting, and placing Maine balsam fir
remembrance wreaths on the graves of our fallen heroes buried at
Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at veterans' cemeteries and
memorials in every State and overseas. In the program's 24 years, more
than 2.4 million wreaths have been placed in honor of those who have
served our country.
The origin of Wreaths Across America is an inspiring example of that generosity and gratitude. During the Christmas season in 1992, Morrill and Karen Worcester took time during their busiest season to donate and deliver wreaths from their company in Harrington, ME, to Arlington National Cemetery to honor the heroes who lie at rest there. At first, a small group of volunteers laid the wreaths with little notice. In recent years, however, the Arlington Wreath Project has grown to become a national phenomenon. The people of Maine are proud that this important and well-deserved tradition began in our State.
This year, on December 12, thousands of volunteers in Arlington, throughout our Nation, and overseas will carry out the mission of Wreaths Across America to ``Remember, Honor, Teach.'' This will conclude a weeklong procession between Maine and Virginia, with stops along the way to pause and remember the men and women who have died to preserve our freedoms, spread the message about the importance of honoring those who serve, and remind the people of the United States about the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families. This procession helps to ensure that those sacrifices are never forgotten.
The Patriot Guard Riders, along with other dedicated escort groups, will accompany tractor-trailers filled with donated wreaths from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery. America's trucking industry has long supported Wreaths Across America by providing drivers, equipment, fuel, and related services to assist in the transportation of wreaths across the country to more than 1,000 locations.
Wreaths Across America not only honors our departed heroes, but also imparts the important message to veterans who are still with us that we honor their service. It tells our men and women in uniform today that we are grateful for their courage and devotion to duty. It tells the families of those serving our country that they are in our thoughts and prayers. And it tells the families of the fallen that we share their grief.
Throughout human history, the evergreen wreath has been offered as a tribute to heroes. On December 12, 2015, we will again offer this enduring symbol of valor and sacrifice as part of our never-ending obligation to thank those who wore the uniform of our country. In this season of giving, we will pay tribute to those who have given us the most precious gift of all, our freedom.