Nearly 12,000 wreath sponsorships are still needed to reach a goal of laying a wreath on each veteran's grave at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
Wreaths Across America is asking for Coloradans to sponsor a wreath in honor of veterans interred at Fort Logan National Cemetery this holiday season.
The organization hopes to place 17,000 remembrance wreaths on the graves of fallen veterans at the cemetery on December 16-19. The annual event seeks to honor and remember each veteran by saying the name of each and every veteran aloud while adorning each grave with a wreath. About 5,300 wreaths had been sponsored with about 11,700 to go, as of Monday.
The National Wreaths Across America Day ceremony will be held on December 19. Organizers plan to host a virtual event to accommodate COVID-19 social distancing requirements. Details will be available on the group's website when they are finalized.
Each wreath sponsorship costs $15. The organization also offers sponsorship options that allow donors to have a second wreath sent to a loved one or friend, given in honor of a living veteran or in memory of a deceased veteran, or placed on a specific grave.
Volunteers are needed both to place the wreaths in December and remove them early next year. Those who are interested must sign up on the group's website.
Wreaths Across America has been placing wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers for 28 years. Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, had a surplus of wreaths at the end of the holiday season in 1992. Worcester, who had been deeply touched by a visit to Arlington National Cemetery when he was 12 years old, arranged to have the excess wreaths placed in an older section of Arlington that had fewer visitors each year.
Worcester and other contributors quietly continued the tradition until 2005, when a photo of the wreathed graves at Arlington went viral online. Thousands of requests to participate poured in, but unable to donate the number of wreaths requested, Worcester started sending seven wreaths to each state to honor each branch of the military as well as prisoners of war and those missing in action.
The wreath movement continued to gain momentum, and in 2007, Worcester formed a nonprofit organization to continue and expand the effort. Today, more than 700,000 wreaths are placed each December at more than 1,000 locations across the country.