In its first Wreaths Across America, the Tranquility Cemetery Association welcomed local citizens on Saturday for the special event. The American Legion, American Legion Junior Auxiliary, American Legion Sons of the American Legion (SAL) also participated in the event.
According to the association, the wreaths were laid at the moment, and the flagpole, which was placed several years ago as an Eagle Scout project to honor veterans interred at the Tranquility Cemetery.
The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach the next generation the value of freedom.
Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, was a 12-year old paper boy when he won a trip to Washington D.C. It was his first to our nation’s capital and one that would change the trajectory of his life and the lives of millions of others across the country. Seeing the hundreds of thousands of graves and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery made an especially indelible impression on him. In 1992, Worcester Wreath found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Remembering his boyhood experience at Arlington, Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country’s veterans. With the aid of retired Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arrangements were made for the surplus wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older cemetery sections that had been receiving fewer visitors each passing year.
For over a decade, this annual tribute went on quietly and privately. Everything changed in 2005, when a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the homespun tribute from a small town in downeast Maine was receiving national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help purchase and lay wreaths at Arlington. Today, the program is active throughout the United States and in other foreign countries who have United States veterans interred in their cemeteries.
In Tranquility, the wreaths will remain in place until 2 weeks after Christmas unless they are in disrepair before that time.