WAA hopes to place 1.8 million wreaths this year

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Wreaths are placed on veterans’ graves at Alabama National Cemetery during a past Wreaths Across America event.Wreaths are placed on veterans’ graves at Alabama National Cemetery during a past Wreaths Across America event.

Approximately 200 trucking fleets will volunteer their time and trucks to help deliver around 1.8 million wreaths as part of this year’s Wreaths Across America (WAA) national event, which honors U.S. veterans by placing wreaths on their graves both at home and abroad.

National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, Dec. 15. This year’s wreaths will be delivered to 1,640 cemeteries nationwide and 26 abroad, including Normandy American Cemetery for the first time. Over 9,000 wreaths were placed on graves at Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, in a ceremony last weekend.

The annual WAA convoy to Arlington National Cemetery kicked off Saturday, Dec. 8, in Lubec, Maine. A truck driver appreciation dinner was held at WAA headquarters in Columbia Falls, Maine, that same afternoon to honor the drivers who help make WAA possible.

The convoy travels through Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and more during it’s route to Arlington National Cemetery. The convoy will make several stops throughout the week for public events. The full WAA Arlington convoy schedule can be found online. 

Wreath production for WAA started in October and will continue through Thursday. Wreath sponsorships are still being collected for Arlington National Cemetery, which was about 25,000 sponsorships short as of Dec. 10. It takes 253,000 wreaths to cover all of the markers at Arlington National Cemetery, which includes a wreath for each column of the Columbarium. There are almost 400,000 people buried at the cemetery, with many families sharing a headstone.

“Each wreath sponsorship is $15 to sponsor so with a few days left to raise the necessary sponsorships for Arlington, we’re close to our 1.8 million goal,” said WAA spokesperson Amber Caron.