Governor and First Lady Lay Wreaths to Remember, Honor and Teach

14 Dec 2015 10:48 AM | Deleted user


Governor and First Lady Lay Wreaths to Remember, Honor and Teach

Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-592-3718

Wreaths Across America tribute draws thousands of volunteers to Arlington National Cemetery

ARLINGTON, VA – Today, joining more than 30,000 volunteers, Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann M. LePage participated in the annual Wreaths Across America remembrance ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Paying tribute to the men and women who served our nation with dignity and honor, more than 230,000 remembrance wreaths were placed on their graves.

Since 1992, Morrill and Karen Worcester, founders of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine have organized a group of volunteers to place wreaths in Arlington, Virginia.

The laying of the wreaths has become an annual tradition for the Governor and First Lady. For the past four years, First Lady LePage has traveled with the Wreaths Across America convoy – referred to as “The Arlington Project” – from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery, which began on Sunday, December 6 this year.

 “Shortly after Paul took office, I adopted the Wreaths Across America mission statement as my driving force - to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and their families, and teach our children the value of freedom,” Mrs. LePage said. “The placing of the wreaths in Arlington, and really the whole trip, is such a powerful experience. I can’t thank Wreaths Across America enough for all they do to honor our veterans.”

For many years The Arlington Project had been the quiet mission of Morrill Worcester and his family. In 2006, internet stories fueled attention for his annual quest, and Worcester was contacted by the Patriot Guard Riders who generously offered their help with the project. Since then the Patriot Guard Riders have escorted the wreath trucks down the East Coast and taking several days to make the trip.

The week-long trip allows stops at schools, monuments, veterans’ homes and communities and gives the group an opportunity to promote their mission: Remember, Honor and Teach. This “parade” of truckers, supporters and well-wishers has become an annual event and teaching opportunity for Wreaths Across America and a valued part of the Arlington Project.

“The First Lady and I would like to say thank you to all of the professional drivers and the trucking companies that support this mission,” said Governor LePage.  “This trip helps to show our nation what it means to be from Maine. This Maine-led commemorative convoy, now known as the world’s largest veteran’s parade, makes Ann and me proud to call Maine home.”

The placing of a wreath also occurred at the mast of the U.S.S. Maine with various members of Maine law enforcement. The mast was removed from the ship in 1905 shortly before the ship was taken out to sea and sunk with military honors. The mast was then installed above a memorial in Arlington National Cemetery in honor of those who lost their lives when the ship sank in Havana, Cuba, Harbor in 1898. This sinking was the event that started the Spanish-American War.


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