This Christmas is Different Because of You – 100,000 Wreaths to Be Placed at Arlington National Cemetery
-by Cody Allison
You may have remembered this viral email last year.
These wreaths – some 5,000 – are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine . The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He’s done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out.
The email didn’t ask for donations or help – it was just showcasing the fact that a guy in Maine, who owned a wreath company wanted to make a difference. I had the opportunity to speak with Merrill Worcester of the Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. I was compelled by the email, so I looked up the company on WhitePages.com and called him right up. What an amazing fellow! We had a really nice conversation and he was excited to tell me that because this email circulated last year, donations came in from all over the world.
Since 1992, Merrill Worcester, of the Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine has been creating and hand delivering – completely at his own expense – 5,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery to be placed on the graves of our soldiers. Last year, a reporter snapped a picture of the placed wreaths. The picture and story went viral and as Merrill puts it, “Donations began pouring in from all over the world.
In 1992, the Wreath Company found themselves with an excess of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Seeing an opportunity to make a boyhood dream a reality, efforts to do something special with those wreaths began in earnest. With the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery, a section which received fewer visitors with each passing year. –www.worcesterwreath.com
Today, because of the generous spirit of people just like you (perhaps even you) Merrill, alongside groups of Maine school children who combine an educational trip to Washington D.C. to coincide with Merrill’s trip so they can help, will be placing 100,000 wreaths to honor our fallen. I’ve never been more proud to be an American than I am today. So many things are broken but love conquers them all.
Please note: many people have expressed a desire to donate to this cause. Worcester Wreath Company is committed to continue their Arlington Wreath Project, now expanded by the Wreaths Across America campaign. Worcester Wreath cannot and will not accept any donations. Those who are interested however, may support by sending donations to:
Harrington, ME 04643
One amazing man.
One journey each year for the last 20 years.
BUT NOT THIS YEAR.
This year is different, because of you…
Thank you Merrill, for your love.
Thank you soldiers for your sacrifice.
Thank you Jesus, for everything!!