The Colorado River Chapter 2655, United Daughters of the Confederacy will sponsor Wreaths Across America in our area this calendar year. Members of the chapter have volunteered as Location Leaders who have signed on with the Wreaths Across America organization to contact local cemeteries, arrange for purchase, delivery and placement of wreaths on the graves of veterans of all wars and conflicts. The chapter, serving a five county area including San Saba, Mills, Brown, McCulloch and Lampasas, will concentrate their efforts this year on San Saba Cemetery, Goldthwaite Memorial Cemetery and Bangs City Cemetery.
Wreaths Across America is an annual project to honor and mark veteran’s graves, held in conjunction with the National Remembrance Ceremony on the second Saturday in December. Wreaths are placed on veteran’s graves at Arlington National Cemetery, Normandy Beach, each State House, all State and National Cemeteries and local cemeteries by volunteers on this day in December.
Although it is nine months until December, sponsorships for wreaths are taken year round so that the purpose of the project- to Remember, Honor and Teach, is fulfilled. Each year Worcester Wreath Company donates 5000 wreaths for placement on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery. The project started with the devotion of one man. Morrill Worcester owns the company, a business in Maine which makes Christmas wreaths and decorations. He was inspired at the early age of 12 years old, when he won a trip to the Nation’s Capital. It was a trip he would never forget. Arlington National Cemetery made an unforgettable impression on the young man. Later in life, Mr. Worcester recognized that his success as a businessman was in large part, due to the values of this Nation and the Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In 1992, the company found themselves with an excess of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Seeing an opportunity to make a boyhood dream a reality, efforts to do something special with those wreaths began in earnest. Arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery, a section which received fewer visitors with each passing year. That year 45 volunteers came to Arlington to help lay wreaths on that December day. By 2010 more than 2000 volunteers participated, laying 24,000 wreaths at Arlington.
Next month, the evolvement of this project into a nation wide event will be described. Wreaths Across America is now a national non-profit organization, encompassing over 500 participating locations and over 160,000 volunteers. The task of our local chapter is to gain sponsorships of wreaths from the current date until mid-November so that the veterans laid to rest in our local cemeteries are remembered during the holidays for the Christmases they never had. Orders are being taken for wreaths at a cost of $15 each. Contact Rosemary Cox, your Location Leader in San Saba. Call 325-372-4190 for more information.