Washington, D.C. - The Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King designating Saturday, December 14, 2019, as “Wreaths Across America Day.” On December 14, a convoy of volunteers is scheduled to arrive at Arlington National Cemetery to lay Maine-made balsam wreaths at the headstones of American veterans interred there.
Patriot Guard Riders will once again continue their tradition of escorting the wreath trucks from Maine down the East Coast, along with other patriotic escorts including motorcycle units, law enforcement officers, and first responders. International Paper, which has a corrugated packaging facility in Auburn, is donating 7,500 boxes and helping to purchase wreaths and transport them to Arlington National Cemetery. Tens of thousands of volunteers are expected to participate in this proud tradition.
“Each year through Wreaths Across America, tens of thousands of Americans take time out of the busy holiday season to pause and pay tribute to those who served in defense of our nation. This Maine-led tradition of placing wreaths on the graves of our fallen heroes has become an inspiring and enduring symbol of our nation’s gratitude for veterans’ valor and sacrifice,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We are grateful for all of the volunteers who ‘Remember, Honor, Teach’ through Wreaths Across America.”
Last year, approximately 1.8 million wreaths were laid at more than 1,700 locations in all 50 states. In addition, more than 9,300 wreaths were laid at Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. Senators Collins and King took part in the official, bipartisan Senate delegation to this cemetery in June to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
This year, in addition to the wreaths that will be laid at Arlington and all 50 states, nearly 15,000 wreaths were laid at two American Veteran Cemeteries in Luxembourg and the Netherlands in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. Senator Collins’ father was a World War II veteran who was wounded twice during the Battle of the Bulge.
The text of the resolution is available HERE.