Wreaths Across America convoy set to head for Arlington National Cemetery

Their mission of delivering wreaths to fallen veterans headstones has not changed amid the pandemic - but the way it’s being done is different.
Wreaths Across America Truck is loaded with wreaths
Wreaths Across America Truck is loaded with wreaths(WABI)
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 5:55 PM EST
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COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine (WABI) - The Wreaths Across America trucks will pull out of Columbia Falls and will hit the road tomorrow for Arlington National Cemetery.

Their mission of delivering wreaths to fallen veterans headstones has not changed amid the pandemic - but the way it’s being done is different.

JD walker is once again about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

The former Navy veteran, is driving his Gully Transportation Truck to Arlington National Cemetery.

For the third time in as many years, he will deliver Maine made wreaths to the headstones of laid to rest veterans.

“When I am on my way down, and things like that, and getting prepared to go to Arlington, and getting prepared to go into the cemetery itself, it’s a very humbling experience, sends chills up my spine so to speak,” said Walker.

Wreaths Across America was founded by Morrill Worcester in 1992.

He wanted the leftovers at Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington to have a home.

That year, one truck delivered wreaths to Arlington.

Now, because of the pandemic, that will be the same.

“In a normal year we would have 10 trucks, the last 10 trucks to come into Arlington. We go down on a week long convoy,” said Wayne Hanson, who is Chairman of the Board of Directors for WAA.

“The size of the convoy may be small, the package of patriotism and love that’s going to Arlington is huge, because this year to cut the numbers back, there will actually be Gold Star families driving the vehicles, and that shows you how important it is to carry out the mission, so I hope people come out and show support to those families as they always have. Maine has always done a great job in showing support as we go down the highway,” said Karen Worcester, Executive Director of WAA.

When it’s all said and done, Walker’s truck will be loaded with 500 boxes, holding 4,500 wreaths, that will make their way to Arlington National Cemetery.

One major change the organization made was to add a virtual aspect of the trip to Arlington.

Video documentation as well as radio broadcasts will help folks follow Walker and the rest of the convoy to the cemetery.

“My favorite part is actually laying a wreath on a headstone, just to be able to recognize what our freedom and liberty is all about, it’s about the sacrifices that others have made,” added Walker.

Saturday, December 19th, is National Wreaths Across America Day.

Besides Arlington, there will be wreath-laying ceremonies at hundreds of other locations across the U.S. and abroad.

You can follow the convoy’s journey to Arlington on the Wreaths Across America Facebook page.

If you would like to sponsor a wreath for $15, you can text WREATH to 20222.

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