Example: [Collected via e-mail, November 2005]
Arlington National Cemetery
Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell...
Readers may be interested to know that these
Origins: The first photograph displayed above is a Christmas-season picture of graves at Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of men and women who served the United
Morrill Worcester initially brought 4,000 surplus wreaths from the holiday decoration company he owns to adorn gravesites at Arlington in 1992. Every year since then he has set aside several thousand wreaths especially for that purpose, driving to Arlington in December with a trailer full of decorations and dozens of volunteers to distribute them throughout the cemetery. As
That first year, there were just a few of us, and it took us five or six hours to get them placed. This year, we had extra help and got done in about an hour.
The answer to another common question is provided in Wreaths Across America's FAQ: "Prior to the wreath-laying ceremonies, cemetery administrative personnel give participants specific instructions regarding placement of wreaths. In most state/national cemeteries, participants are instructed to place wreaths only on graves bearing the Christian cross or nondenominational graves."
In 2007, the Worcester family, along with veterans and other groups and individuals who had helped with their annual Christmas wreath ceremony in Arlington, formed Wreaths Across America, a non-profit organization, to continue and expand the effort to place memorial wreaths at more than 230 State and National Cemeteries and Veterans Monuments across the United States. This project receives no government funding, with the cost of the program being paid for by individual wreath sponsors and corporate donors.
On 10 December 2011, 15,000 volunteers laid 90,000 wreaths on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. Photographs of the 2011 wreath-laying ceremony can be viewed on the Washington Post web site.
The clip displayed below is a seven-minute video of past wreath-laying ceremonies put together by Worcester Wreath to show what the Arlington Wreath Project and Wreaths Across America is all about:
|How the Arlington Wreath Project Was Born|
Alcindor, Yamiche. "Thousands of Wreath-Layers Carry Out Arlington Tradition." The Washington Post. 13 December 2009. Buzanowski, J. G. "Airmen, Civilians Lay Wreaths at Arlington." Air Force Print News. 19 December 2005. Crudele, Bethany. "Volunteers Lay Wreaths at Arlington in Holiday Tribute to Fallen Veterans." CNN. 12 December 2009. Salas, Randy. "Web Search: Wreaths for the Fallen." [Minneapolis] Star Tribune. 9 November 2006.