One man’s mission to adorn graves in Arlington National Cemetery with wreaths each December has turned into a Christmas tradition that is now in its 24th year.
Morrill Worcester, of Maine, now has a team of thousands of volunteers who help with the task, really a labor of love. “I think most people think like I do….they appreciate the veterans and they want to show it,” he said in a “Power Player of the Week” feature on Fox News Channel.
Touched by the dignity of Arlington when he first saw the national cemetery as a boy of 12, Worcester realized that each grave represented “a life, and a family and a story. They’re not just tombstones, they’re people.”
Years later, as Worcester was running his own wreath company in Maine, he ended up with many leftover wreaths and he decided to deliver them to Arlington. He repeated the act each year for Christmas and eventually word got out, garnering national attention.
The undertaking, which requires thousands of volunteers, culminates in what Worcester calls “the world’s longest veterans parade,” traveling 750 miles to Arlington where volunteers are at the ready to help lay wreaths on every grave. Worcester paid the expenses himself each year, eventually starting “Wreaths Across America” to send wreaths across the nation to war memorials and cemeteries.
But Worcester is not satisfied. His goal is to lay a wreath on every veteran’s grave – about 2.7 million of them.
“That’s a tall order, to decorate 2.7 million graves,” he said. Though he doesn’t know how he will accomplish this goal, Worcester is hoping to make it a reality. And he has no plans of stopping what he started.
“I’m going to keep doing it as long as I work, and I know my family’s going to continue,” he said.
This year, more than 900,000 wreaths were placed by over 70,000 volunteers on veterans’ graves across the nation and overseas, according to Fox.
Watch the feature on Worcester, below.
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