WASHINGTON – To recognize the annual, national tradition to honor our fallen soldiers and Veterans that was started by Downeast Mainers 25 years ago, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) is requesting a World War II aircraft flyover to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery this December.
Mainers Morrill and Karen Worcester started Wreaths Across America, the national ceremony honoring our fallen military men and women, in 1992 when their Washington County business, Worcester Wreath Company, had a surplus of wreaths at the end of the holiday season. Morrill, recalling his boyhood visit to Arlington National Cemetery, decided to donate 5,000 wreaths to be laid on graves at the cemetery. Wreaths Across America has become a national tradition, as now thousands of American families come to Arlington each year to lay more than 225,000 wreaths at the cemetery. In addition, the ceremony now takes place at hundreds of Veteran cemeteries across the country. In 2008, Congress unanimously voted to make the day officially known as “Wreaths Across America Day.” This December marks the event’s 25th anniversary.
Congressman Poliquin released the following statement:
“Since Morrill and Karen started it 25 years ago, Wreaths Across America has become a part of our nation’s tradition,” said Congressman Poliquin. “This event is special to so many across our country, as now thousands of families travel to Arlington and hundreds of locations around America each year to honor the men and women of our Armed Forces that made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom. As it reaches its quarter-century mark, I think this flyover will be a fitting way to fully appreciate the ceremony and to honor our fallen military men and women, those serving now, and our Veterans.”
To commemorate its anniversary, Congressman Poliquin led seven other Members of Congress, including Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01), in sending letters to the U.S. Army and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requesting for the Commemorative Air Force to conduct a World War II aircraft flyover during the event on Dec. 17.
The Members sent letters last week to Secretary of the Army Eric K. Fanning, Executive Director of the Army National Military Cemeteries Patrick K. Hallinan, and Administrator of the FAA Michael P. Huerta.
Click HERE to see a PDF version of the Members’ letter to the Secretary of the Army.