Maine-Based Wreaths Across America Begins Yearly Journey

A moving tribute to American veterans is traveling from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery. 

For the 26th year, Wreaths Across America is bringing Maine-made Christmas wreaths to Washington D.C. Volunteers will place the gifts of gratitude at soldiers' graves. 

"They are the heroes, they're the protectors and the freedom fighters," said Wreaths Across America Executive Director Karen Worcester. "We need to be the freedom caretakers." 

The wreaths are made in Harrington, Maine, by the Worcester Wreath Company. In 1992, the company had a surplus of wreaths, and founder Morrill Worcester decided to bring them to Arlington National Cemetery. 

Since then, the Wreaths Across America convoy has become a national tradition. Several tractor trailers carrying hundreds of thousands of wreaths receive police escorts from state to state, stopping in communities to honor veterans. 

On Monday, the caravan stopped in Scarborough, Kennebunk, and Kittery, Maine. On their way to honor the fallen, they paid tribute to living veterans like 100-year-old Sgt. Malcolm Foss. 

The Kittery native received recognition at two ceremonies, then got to ride in the lead car of the caravan. 

"I never expected this," Sgt. Foss said. 

He served in WWII in a secret radio intelligence company intercepting Japanese communication while hiding in a hole in a volcano in Hawaii. 

"I think it means a lot that people remember our veterans," he said. 

The caravan stopped in New Hampshire and Massachusetts Monday. There are stops planned in Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, before laying the wreaths at Arlington Saturday. 

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