Washington, D.C. – The Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King designating Saturday, December 19, 2020, as “Wreaths Across America Day.” Traditionally, a convoy of volunteers travels from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery to lay Maine-made balsam wreaths at the headstones of American veterans interred there. 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.
“Wreaths Across America is a powerful demonstration of respect and appreciation for our veterans – both those that we’ve lost and those still with us,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We are so proud that this heartfelt expression of gratitude originated in the great State of Maine and has become an enduring symbol of our nation’s gratitude for veterans’ valor and sacrifice. This resolution remembers and honors America’s veterans this holiday season, while also teaching generations to come of the sacrifices that have been made to secure our freedoms and to defend our liberty.”
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, precautions will be taken this year to balance health and safety requirements and the desire for families of those interred at Arlington National Cemetery and the Soldier’s and Airmen’s Home Cemetery to participate in this year’s Wreaths Across America event. The event will be closed to the public but a phased schedule has been established to allow for the participation of family pass holders, the Military District of Washington, soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the Wreaths Across America organization. A full statement from the Arlington National Cemetery can be found here.
In 2019, approximately 2.2 million wreaths were laid at more than 2,200 locations across the U.S. and overseas. This included more than 13,300 wreaths placed at the American Cemeteries in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, in remembrance of those lost during World War II.
Senator Collins’ father was a World War II veteran who was wounded twice during the Battle of the Bulge.
Read the full resolution HERE.