Pages

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Wreaths at Arlington

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Can you possibly imagine imagine seeing and experiencing this awesome sight?  Just think of the many rows of white headstones accented by the brilliant green color of evergreen wreaths and red bows. It makes you stop and think about all the American lives that have been lost over the years….

The laying of Christmas wreaths is an annual event that was begun by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester in 1992. Volunteers from all over the U.S. and from all walks of life  turn out to help lay the wreaths. I found this these pictures and article after someone sent me an e-mail about this event. The article below was written by Senior Airman J.G. Buzanowski for the Air Force Print News on December 19, 2005. 


Volunteers Place Wreaths At Arlington National Cemetery - PHOTO

Christmas wreaths adorn head stones at Arlington National Cemetery. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's childhood dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery. More than 5,000 donated wreaths were placed by volunteers this year. (2005)

 

Volunteers Place Wreaths At Arlington National Cemetery - PHOTO

Hundreds of volunteers gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to place more than 5,000 donated Christmas wreaths on head stones. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's, childhood dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery.

Despite the cold, wind and snow, about 75 people gathered at Arlington National Cemetery on December 15, 2005, to lay more than 5,000 wreaths on gravesites, including four at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Since 1992, members of the armed forces, civil air patrol, veterans of foreign wars and several civilians have gathered to take part in the project, a brainchild of Maine resident Morrill Worcester.

Mr. Worcester owns and operates a holiday decoration company. Thirteen years ago he had a holiday wreath surplus and thought back to his youth. At age 12, he’d won a trip to Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery was one of the most memorable places he visited. His first thought was to bring the extra 4,000 wreaths there.

“We couldn’t do anything in this country if it wasn’t for the people who gave their lives to protect us,” Mr. Worcester said. “It’s a great honor to be able to come here and pay our respects.”  In 1993, rather than bring leftover wreaths, he planned for the event. Since then, he’s driven to Arlington every year with volunteers and a truck full of decorations. Word got around to other agencies, such as the civil air patrol and the National Reconnaissance Office, and several people wanted to help.

“That first year, there were just a few of us, and it took us five or six hours to get them placed,” Mr. Worcester said. “This year, we had extra help and got done in about an hour.” This was the fourth year Tech. Sgt. Lisa Rodier helped honor those buried at Arlington. She described the event as “very emotional” and something everyone should do at least once. “You get a feeling you can’t get from anything else,” Sergeant Rodier said. “These people sacrificed their lives for me and my children, so why can’t I sacrifice a little time for them?”

 

Volunteers Place Wreaths At Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO
Tech. Sgt. Scott Glassic places a wreath on a headstone. He was one of hundreds of volunteers who gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to place more than 5,000 donated Christmas wreaths. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's, childhood dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery.

 

Vounteers Place Wreaths At Arlington National Cemetery  - PHOTO
An Arlington Honor Guardsman walks his post past the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb was one of more than 5,000 headstones decorated by volunteers. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's, childhood
dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery.

(All photos by Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi)

Posted: 20 December 2005

23 comments:

Twice as Nice said...

Unbelievable! What a wonderful thing to do. The first year took 5-6 hours and now it is down to 1 with all the volunteers. Some times it just takes one person with an idea.

Dawn said...

Wow, I'm not sure what to say. It's simple but stunning, inspiring but sad. What a mix of emotions it brings.
Christmas Hugs,
Dawn

Lori E said...

As always there are people who step up to do the right thing. This is a lovely tradition and I am sure means a lot to the families.

www.MaisonStGermain.com said...

Wow, so many emotions. I pray for our military every day. We owe our freedom to them. They,and their families have sacrificed so much for us. I will always be a proud American.
~Debra
Capers of the vintage vixens

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

This is incredible, Sue! Thank you for this post!

xinex said...

What a great tradition and a pretty sight! Thanks for sharing, Sue!...Christine

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

What an amazing picture and story. I had no idea.

Sue

Cass @ That Old House said...

I didn't know about this tradition; how wonderful. One person -- in this case Mr. Morrell -- can really make a difference.
Very moving.
Cass

Susie Q said...

We actually saw this once...it IS amazing.

Joan said...

The very same thing was done at our National Cemetery here in Staunton. Of course it was one a much smaller scale, but it still was quite impressive.

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Hi Sue...I got the same email....isn't it a wonderful thing! It is so awesome to see all of them laid in line with the headstones.~Patti

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

What a wonderful sight that is! Generous souls.
Brenda

Blue Creek Home said...

Thank you so much for sharing this.
We had the opportunity to go on two different occasions to see the changing of the guards, but we were always there in the spring or summer. This is such a heart warming story. And it is beautiful.
Rhonda

Kathleen said...

Beautiful..makes me cry...God Bless them..

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Sue, I had never heard the story of how the wreath laying at Arlington got started. What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing this. We do need to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom, and we especially need to remember their families during the holiday season. laurie

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Sue!
So sorry I have not been around...I had a computer melt down and had to wait for Santa to send a new one to me this week. I was in such withdrawl..lol

I enjoyed reading the story behind the Christmas wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. It is such a wonderful act of gemerosity, honor and rememberance.

I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season...I can't believe it is only one week away!

Hugs, Pat

marmielu said...

Wow! This is amazing! Thanks.
Mary Lou

Bill said...

Hi Sue,
I literally gasped when I saw the first photograph. It's so beautiful ... and so moving. Wonderful post!

Happy Holidays!

Bill

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Such a touching and moving post. Thanks for sharing..hugs ~lynne~

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Hi Sweet Sue!!!

Oh my goodness........that's just breathtaking, isn't it? Thanks so much for sharing....it made my little heart skip a beat.

Hope you're continuing to feel ever so much betta!

xoxoxo
Spence

Edie Marie's Attic said...

This just brings me to tears Sue. I've had the honor and priviledge to visit Arlington and it us so awesome. Thank you for sharing this with us so that we ever keep our prayers going for those who serve to protect us.
I hope you are doing better. My prayers are with you Sue.
God bless you this Christmas & always, Sherry

Sharing with Sherri said...

Hi there sweet Sue,

Thanks for coming by to visit, I hesitated to come by when I saw the title on this post, because I knew it would make me cry... but I'm glad I did now...
It's so important for us remember those who sacrificed for us... including their families, especially now during the Holidays...

God bless them, and you too Sue!

Have a warm and wonderful Christmas!!
Lotsa hugs to you too!
Sherri:)

Vicki said...

I saw the processional driving through NH last year. The wreaths are loaded in a semi-tractor trailer and sets out to drive the old Rte 1 for a good portion of the drive from Maine to Washington DC. Local schools schedule an outing so they can stand on the side of the road to wave and honor the devotion of the Worcester family, who honors the soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. My daughter now lives in Arlington VA and I told her of this one mans appreciation of our armed forces. She was going to go see for herself and take her own photos with the new fallen snow for the backdrop. A very moving post. Thanks for sharing the wonderful Christmas moment.