Wreaths Across America was founded in 2007 by Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcestor Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. The organization’s mission is to remember the fallen, honor service members and teach the value of freedom to the next generation.
Worcester had been donating wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery since 1992, and the evergreen movement he started continues to grow. This year, Wreaths Across America hopes to deliver over 2 million wreaths to more than 2,000 locations across the U.S.
The journey starts in Harrington, Maine, with about 100 trucks picking up wreaths in a massive kickoff ceremony on Dec. 9. Just a few miles down the road in Elsworth, Maine, the larger convoy breaks up into several smaller groups of trucks that continue their journey to various destinations.
One of these smaller convoys of Walmart trucks travels to Arlington National Cemetery where the whole movement started. This mighty convoy of four trucks makes the journey particularly special by taking the time along the way to visit veteran’s hospitals, memorial parks and public schools to help honor veterans and teach children personally.
Jenny Lovering is the general transportation manager in Walmart’s Lewiston, Maine transportation office. This is her first year coordinating Walmart’s involvement in Wreaths Across America, so she jumped at the chance to join the convoy to Arlington. While on the journey, she expressed how meaningful it is to be able to honor veterans in person. On a visit to an assisted living facility in Maine, she met two veterans who served in World War II, one of which was present at the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“Their passion for their country was amazing, and both of them would do it again tomorrow if they had the chance, because they feel so strongly about protecting our freedom,” she said.