Over 2 million take part in Wreaths Across America Day
December 20, 2021
•Land Line Staff
More than 3,000 locations across the country participated in Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 18, honoring over 2 million veterans.
As part of the event, 390 carriers delivered 500-plus truckloads of wreaths as more than 2 million volunteers helped place the wreaths on the headstones of fallen military veterans nationwide.
This year also marked the 30th year of this tradition, started by Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester as a token of his appreciation.
“When I brought down those 5,000 wreaths that first year, I just thought it was a way for me to say thank you for what we have in this country,” Worcester, founder of Wreaths Across America, said in a news release. “I could have never imagined it would strike a chord like it has and make such an impact. My family and I continue to be humbled by the support this program receives across the country.”
At Arlington National Cemetery, where the program concluded, 66 tractor-trailer drivers delivered over 250,000 wreaths, and 38,000 volunteers were on hand to show their gratitude.
Don Crouse, an OOIDA life member from Bruceville, Ind., has been involved with Wreaths Across America since around 2008. He made the trip to Arlington, Va., for the sixth time this year and was honored with a spot in the official escort.
“It was absolutely unbelievable,” Crouse said. “They even shutdown the New Jersey Turnpike for us. I’ve been out on the road 48 years and it was the most amazing thing I’ve been part of. There are so many people that Wreaths Across America puts in the right place to make all of this happen.”
The time and energy Crouse has invested in local and national celebrations has been paid back in full, he says.
“When we started our local event we utilized Facebook and helped raised $3,000 in the first year,” Crouse said. “Now, we’ve helped to start seven events in southwest Indiana. The parents that we have met are just fantastic people, and to see what this means to them really makes it all worth it. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding. Once you’ve done this and see the people’s faces, you are hooked.”
Next year’s national Wreaths Across America Day is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. LL