"The Wreaths Across America program, and our ceremony here, are a fitting way to honor and give thanks to our veterans, both living and departed". The weather on Saturday proved to be much nicer than past year with sunny skies and temperatures near 40 degrees.
Over one million wreaths were laid on graves across the U.S. on Saturday as part of the "Wreaths across America" program.
Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine, is better known as the man behind Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to remembering and honoring veterans during the holidays.
More than 50,000 people arrived at the cemetery before dawn and placed more than 300,000 wreaths on veterans' graves, a news release from Marysville Funeral Home states. While Whyte said he came to support his daughter, the visit to the cemetery struck a deeper cord. This year, her Driver of the Year made the trip from ME to Arlington National Cemetery, and last year's victor delivered wreaths at veteran grave sites in the company's hometown of Findlay, Ohio.
Ashley Furniture Inds. recently hosted a public wreath-laying ceremony at Memorial Park in Arcadia, Wis., to honor veterans for their service. Mayor Mike Desire and Cub Scout son Dominic Desire placed a wreath at the Missing In Action monument. "I'm hoping next year to do every veteran we have", said Spitalere.
Volunteers distributed 509 wreaths throughout the Hot Springs cemetery after a formal opening ceremony led by South Dakota Representative Tim Goodwin.
Sam and Julie Boettcher of Custer brought their granddaughter, Alexys Schille of Rapid City, to the Wreaths Across America event.
"It's really special", he said.
After a ideal rendition of "Taps" following the 21-gun salute, and the readings of the names, members of the crowd fanned out to place the remaining wreaths on the graves of veterans resting in the cemetery grounds.
For the first time, organizers received enough wreaths to cover every headstone at the Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery in Caribou during a December 16 Wreaths Across America ceremony.