Wreaths Across America Ceremony
The Wreaths Across America ceremony is held each year on the third Saturday in December. Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization that extends the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to cemeteries across the United States. What started as a simple gesture in 1992 when Morrill Worchester, owner of Worchester Wreath Company, began donating surplus holiday wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery, grew into a national movement in 2005 after photos of the wreaths spread across the Internet. Worchester was flooded with requests for wreaths but couldn’t afford to donate enough wreaths to meet all the requests. So in 2007, he created Wreaths Across America to honor fallen veterans in every state.
Just one year after the program started, Wreaths Across America Day became officially recognized by Congress and placed over 100,000 wreaths on veterans’ graves and worked with 60,000 volunteers. By 2010, the number of wreaths had grown to 220,000 wreaths in 545 locations across the country. In 2012, the one-millionth wreath was placed at Arlington National Cemetery.
Arkansas Wreaths Across America Ceremony
Here at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, the Wreaths Across America ceremony program has grown just as quickly. During the 2014 holiday season, just over 150 wreaths were placed on Arkansas veterans’ graves. That number swelled to over 4,000 during the 2015 Wreaths Across America ceremony program thanks to various veteran service organizations, volunteer groups, volunteers, and fund raising efforts to ensure that each veteran was honored in this way. There are more than 6,000 veterans interned at this cemetery and our goal in the years to come is to ensure that every veteran receives a wreath.
Each wreath costs $15, and all wreaths are funded through donations. Visit our “What Can YOU Do” page for more information about ways you can help or you may go directly to the Wreaths Across America website to sponsor a wreath for the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery and click the red button that reads, “Click here to sponsor a wreath.”
Christmas wreaths, Christmas plants, Christmas trees (plants and Christmas trees are limited in height – maximum of 24 inches), floral blankets (maximum size is 2 feet by 3 feet), or flowers will be permitted on graves from December 1- January 15.
Please contact the Cemetery Beautification Foundation if you would like more information about the Wreaths Across America ceremony program or permitted honors during the holiday season.