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Local D.A.R. chapter joins holiday wreath laying initiative

Nov. 17, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

The Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, is a sponsoring group for Wreaths Across America.

Worcester Wreath Company and its involvement with the Arlington project was inspired when then 12-year-old Bangor Daily News paperboy Morrill Worcester won a trip to the nation's capital. Arlington National Cemetery made an indelible impression. In later life, he recognized that his success as a businessman was in large part, due to the values of this nation and the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

In 1992, Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, had an excess of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Seeing an opportunity to make a boyhood dream a reality, efforts to do something special with those wreaths began in earnest. With the help of Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe and the Maine State Society of DC, arrangements were made for the wreaths to be laid at Arlington. Again an impression was made, and he vowed to bring the wreaths every year.

In 2006, in response to thousands of emails and letters, Worcester Wreath expanded its wreath donations nationwide. With the help of the Civil Air Patrol and many others, ceremonies took place simultaneously at 230 locations. From there, Wreaths Across America was born.

Now in its 20th year, the original group has been joined by many others.

By early 2007, the Worcesters reached out to the community and the nonprofit group Wreaths Across America was formed. Worcester doubled his yearly pledge to Arlington to 10,000 wreaths and continued his tradition of sending 2,500 wreaths to the Maine Veterans Cemetery along with providing wreaths for the veterans' graves in the local communities of the small county in which he grew up.

In 2010 ceremonial wreaths for each branch of the military were sent to all of the participating state and national cemeteries and monuments. Wreaths will also be provided for 24 offshore cemeteries, including Normandy Beach, and a large veterans' commemorative wreath will be sent to each state's State House for the ceremony on the Monday prior to the Wreaths Across America Saturday event.

By offering sponsorships to the public, Wreaths Across America hopes that one day every veteran's resting place will be adorned with a wreath.

The Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter will be joining Wreaths Across America at noon Dec. 15, in honoring our veterans through the placement of wreaths upon their graves. The ceremony will take place at Pioneer Cemetery. Wreaths Across America provides, at no cost, one wreath for each branch of the service. Individuals may support the efforts of the Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter by sponsoring a wreath. The cost is $15 per wreath. Each wreath is made from fresh pine greenery and adorned with a red bow. Wreaths will first be placed on all of the veteran graves located in Pioneer Cemetery. If sufficient wreaths are sponsored, the Chapter will then place wreaths upon veteran graves located in Suncrest and Lone Oak cemeteries. The ultimate aim of the group is to eventually place a wreath upon the grave of all veterans buried in Mason County.

To sponsor a wreath, contact the Chairman of our Service to Veterans Committee, Diana Johnson at 304-675-8844 or by emailing colonialdame@suddenlink.net. Family, small business and corporate sponsorships are also available.

All orders must be in to Wreaths Across America before Nov. 26.