Five young men of Glenholme’s transition program joined Wreaths Across America (WWA) and the Judea Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in the annual wreath-laying ceremony to honor our nation’s servicemen and women. The ceremony, held at Judea Cemetery in Washington on the second Saturday of December, was concurrent with special services held in hundreds of cemeteries in all 50 states including Arlington Cemetery and with tributes at sea and on foreign soil.
The Washington wreath-laying ceremony was led by the Judea Chapter of DAR representatives Sheila Anson and Cindy Brissett. James Gollsneider (USMC retired), Robert “Rocky” Tomlinson (USMC retired), and Todd Peterson also assisted with the effort.
DAR representatives told the inspirational history behind the wreath-laying practice, begun by Morrill Worcester, owner of the Worcester Wreath Company in Maine. Nearly twenty ago, when Mr. Worcester’s company was faced with a surplus of wreaths, he quietly arranged for them to be placed on veterans’ gravestones in Arlington Cemetery. The effort continued secretly until 2005 when a wreath-laying image created a social media storm. In 2007, a group of veterans and volunteers teamed up with the Worcester family to found the non-profit organization, Wreaths Across America (WAA). Today thousands of volunteers work together with WAA to perform the tribute to our nation’s heroes.
Mr. Peterson highlighted the significance behind the wreath-laying tradition. He noted, “The deeds that we honor started with our Declaration of Independence and the 56 men who signed that remarkable document.” He continued, “Two hundred and thirty years later countless Americans have risen to the call to protect their fellow citizen. Today, we pause to thank them all for their extraordinary sacrifice.”
With those powerful thoughts in mind and armfuls of personal remembrance wreaths crafted with care by Painters Ridge Farm in Washington, the volunteers set out across the cemetery to find each grave marked with an American flag and pay tribute to the veteran who rests there.
On this one special day in December, the nation pauses, remembers, and gives thanks to the America’s service men and women and the Glenholme community is honored to be a part of this important tribute to honor their service and sacrifice, and the standards they set for the present and future generations of patriots.