In December 1992, wreath maker Morrill Worcester found himself with a surplus of 5,000 wreaths during the holiday season. Worcester saw the surplus as an opportunity to pay tribute to our country’s veterans and arranged for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery. The now annual tribute to our country’s veterans has continued ever since, touching the lives of millions of veterans’ families and volunteers and growing in scope through the years.
In 2007, the Worcester family along with veterans and volunteers formed the non-profit organization Wreaths Across America to expand their efforts and to support those around the country who wished to do the same. Wreaths Across America’s mission is simple: Remember the fallen, Honor those that serve, and Teach the next generation about the value of freedom. In 2020, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers, in spite of Covid-19 restrictions, placed approximately 1.7 million veterans’ wreaths at more than 2,500 locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.
This year, National Wreaths Across America day will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023. This will be the sixth year Eddie Blake VFW Post 3937 and the Donnie Levens American Legion Post 1995 will be participating in the national program. The ceremony will begin at 1:00 pm on December 16 at the Long Beach City Cemetery, 217 Girard Avenue.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony; volunteers who would like to assist in the wreath laying are very welcome.
In 2020, with the financial support of businesses, organizations, and veterans’ families and friends, we were able to lay a wreath at every one of the more than 200 known veteran’s gravesites. We intend to do the same this year. If you know of a veteran at the cemetery who does not have a gravesite indication that he/she is a veteran, please let us know so that we can ensure that he/she also receives a wreath.
Each hand made, fresh, live wreath costs $15 and is made in the USA with Maine balsam. Although the Long Beach City Cemetery will be the location of the wreath laying ceremony, wreaths for veterans interred at other Long Beach and neighboring cemeteries can be sponsored and picked up that afternoon.
If you wish to remember and honor our deceased veterans, sponsorships or donations can be:
- mailed or delivered to VFW Post 3937, 213 Klondyke Road, Long Beach MS 39560
- mailed to American Legion Post 1995, PO Box 550, Long Beach MS 39560
The event’s POC is Wendy Griffioen who can be reached at (228) 424-6910 or firstname.lastname@example.org