SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ - Early on the morning of December 16, 2017, Sussex County Scouts from Crew 276, Troop 283, Troop 187, Troop 84, Troop 98, Pack 183, and Pack 153, joined tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the country and overseas to remember our nation’s veterans by placing wreaths at veterans’ cemeteries and monuments, as part of the efforts of Wreaths Across America.
Wreaths Across America started with a paper boy’s trip to Washington. D.C., decades ago. At the age of 12, Morrill Worcester won a trip to Washington. D.C. through his job for the Bangor Daily News. Young Worchester visited all of the nation’s popular monuments, but Arlington National Cemetery revealed to him the great sacrifices made by our veterans. He wanted to make sure that veterans received the credit that they deserved for their courageous efforts to fight for our wonderful nation.
Years later, in the Christmas season of 1992, Worcester, the owner of Worcester Wreaths in Maine, found himself with a surplus of 5,000 wreaths. He knew exactly what he needed to do with those wreaths. With the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe and the Maine Society of Washington D.C., he was able to enter a section of the cemetery that over the years had had fewer visitors.
Local VFW Posts and American Legion Posts tied red bows on Worcester’s wreaths. Bluebird Ranch Inc., a trucking company out of Jonesboro, Maine, sent trucks and drivers to transport the wreaths all the way to Washington, D.C. Volunteers then placed the wreaths on 5,000 veterans’ graves.
Since then, Worcester’s efforts have grown into the non-profit, Wreaths Across America, whose mission is to REMEMBER our fallen U.S. veterans, HONOR those who serve, and TEACH children the value of freedom. Wreaths Across America volunteers lay wreaths at 800 State, National and local cemeteries and monuments all across the United States and 24 Veteran Cemeteries overseas.
To learn more about Wreaths Across America, you can visit http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
As Sussex County’s local scout volunteers placed wreaths at Glenwood Cemetery in Vernon, Clove Cemetery in Wantage and Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Sparta, the name of every veteran was said aloud and a moment was taken to thank them for their service.
Troop 283 for served as an Honor Guard for this event and Crew 276 supplied food for the hungry scouts and all the other volunteers.