Wreaths Across America keeps growing — even outside of America

Elizabeth Howe
October 08, 2019 - 11:10 am
Wreaths Across America

USA Today

Wreaths Across America has been placing wreaths on the graves of veterans for the holidays since 1992 — and now they're expanding even further beyond America.

This week, Wreaths Across America (WAA) was granted permission by Luxembourg and Netherlands authorities and the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) to place wreaths on the headstones of all the U.S. service members laid to rest in the Luxembourg American Cemetery and the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial. 

The Luxembourg American Cemetery is the final resting place of 5,073 U.S. service members and the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial honors the remains of 8,291 veterans. The 14,000 wreaths, provided by WAA founder Morrill Worcester, will be transported from Worcester's farm in Maine to Europe on United Airlines flights. 

This is the second year that WAA has been able to place wreaths at cemeteries outside of the United States where 1.5 million wreaths are laid at 1,400 cemeteries across the country. Last year, 9,387 wreaths were placed on headstones at Normandy American Cemetery in France. 

Wreaths Across America to lay wreaths at D-Day headstones in Normandy

Worcester's dream from the very beginning of WAA's operations — when Worcester's family brought the surplus wreaths from their farm in Maine to Arlington National Cemetery for the first time — was to place a wreath in honor of every U.S. veteran laid to rest worldwide. 

Wreaths Across America: 5,000 wreaths to 1,500,000

“From the beginning, the goal for Wreaths Across America was to one day honor and remember all those who served and sacrificed for our freedoms, no matter where they are buried,” said Wayne Hanson, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Wreaths Across America. “To have the honor to remember these soldiers at their final resting place and say each of their names so their memory lives on is something we all take immense pride in and will carry out with the utmost respect and dignity deserved.”

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