Today’s short blog entry will be about two interesting Christmas-y items related to the military
Since 1992, Merrill Worcester, the owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine has been donating wreaths to be placed on gravestones and the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Volunteer truckers transport them from Maine to Virginia and other volunteers walk the Cemetery and place the wreaths. In addition, his company ships seven wreaths to each state at this time of year to honor all branches of the military and MIAs.
The first year, 5,000 wreaths were donated. This year, more than 110,000 wreaths were placed just at Arlington.
Due to continued and growing interest, in 2007 a non-profit called Wreaths Across America was set up to help raise money for wreaths to be placed at Arlington and other military burial venues and to also coordinate related nation-wide wreath-laying ceremonies so they could all take place at the same time if possible. This year’s wreath-laying day was December 15.
WAA is also focused on educating people about the sacrifices made by veterans to protect our freedoms. As supporters of the CAF Red Tail Squadron know, that’s a story that must continue to be told as new generations are born and grow.
Since 1947, the country of Norway has been sending a huge Christmas tree to the English people as a token of gratitude for their help during the World War II years (1940-45). The tree is always set up in Trafalgar Square in downtown London. This year’s tree – which is popularly known as the “Oslo Tree” - is decked out in blue lights with a large white star on top.
All of us who work with and for the CAF Red Tail Squadron wish all of you a very happy Christmas next Tuesday. For those of you with children or spouses on active military duty, know that many of us have experienced your mixed feelings of pride in them and loneliness for them as you celebrate the holiday without them. We thank you for your sacrifice as deeply as we thank them for theirs.
The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven 501c3 non-profit organization that operates under the auspices of the Commemorative Air Force. For more information, please visit redtail.org.