A moving tribute to America's veterans is traveling through New England this week, on its way to Arlington National Cemetery.
The 27th annual Wreaths Across America convoy is transporting thousands of made-in-Maine wreaths to decorate soldier's headstones.
"There's a lot of tears on this convoy," said Karen Worcester, the executive director of Wreaths Across America.
U.S. & World
The nonprofit coordinates the trip to Arlington and stops in communities along the way.
On Monday, the convoy stopped in Kittery, Maine then went to Hampton, New Hampshire and Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
The group will place the wreaths on grave sites in Arlington on Saturday, Dec. 15.
"It's important for us to remember," said Worcester.
Wreaths Across America had humble beginnings 27 years ago. Morrill Worcester, head of the Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, had a surplus of Christmas wreaths and decided to take them to Arlington.
Every year, the organization appears to grow larger. This fall, Wreaths Across America expanded across the pond, delivering wreaths to an American cemetery in Normandy.
As the nonprofit's work expands, so does the scrutiny of its finances. Wreaths Across America uses donations to purchase the wreaths from the Worcester Wreath Company. The same family oversees both entities. Charity watch dogs have called them out for a conflict of interest. Karen Worcester says there's nothing to the suspicion of impropriety.
"If you're not getting criticized, you're not doing anything," she said. The relationship between the nonprofit Wreaths Across America and the for-profit Worcester Wreath Company is legal.
Worcester said they are considering expanding even farther, and requests have been made to have them travel to other parts of the world with their wreaths.