Weeklong trip begins December 10

Wreaths Across America convoy to roll through Maine; special ceremony at Lincolnville Beach, Waldoboro

Posted:  Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 1:00pm
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MIDCOAST – The annual Wreaths Across America convoy is to set forth Dec. 9 from Washington County, the country’s sunrise county, and take handmade balsam wreaths to adorn gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

What began as a pilgrimage by Maine wreath maker, Morrill Worcester, in a single truck to deliver 5,000 wreaths he donated to Arlington in 1992 has become a national mission more than 25 years later to Remember, Honor, Teach. National Wreaths Across America Day is a free event and open to all people.

The annual tradition draws crowds that line highways as the convoy passes through towns and cities. In the Midcoast, the convoy is due to pause at Lincolnville Beach, Sunday, Dec. 10, at approximately 3 p.m. as some wreaths will be left there for a ceremony.

For the convoy, the hand-over will be a brief pause during in a week filled with ceremonies, which also includes a stop at Medomak High School in Waldoboro, at approximately 4 p.m.

For Lincolnville organizers, the wreaths will be the commencement of a ceremony at the bridge over Frohock Brook to honor maritime members lost at sea. One wreath each, representing members of the Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and Navy, will be layed in the brook. The fourth wreath will be laid at the cannon. 

Local police and fire personnel, the American Legion Color Guard, and veterans of each honored discipline will be in attendance. Members of the public are welcome, and attendees are encouraged to take flags.

A portion of the remaining 245,696 wreaths en route to Arlington National Cemetery for placement on December 16 will continue south courtesy of 11 tractor-trailer trucks, according to a news release. Also in the convoy will be various local and state municipal escorts and 12 passenger vehicles carrying veterans and Gold Star families.

The escort is scheduled to make stops in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington D.C. before arriving at Arlington National Cemetery on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 16, National Wreaths Across America Day. To view the schedule, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org/escort.

This year’s Grand Marshals are Medal of Honor Recipient Col. Roger Donlon and his wife, Norma.

On July 6, 1964, Captain Donlon and others came under attack at Nam Dong. Despite suffering numerous bullet wounds, and watching many around him succumb, Donlon continued to lead his men while also providing medical aid to anyone in need. Read more of Donlon’s story here.

“I had the pleasure of visiting Maine this past summer and walking on the tip land where the balsam used to make wreaths for fellow veterans is grown, and tagged individual trees for some of my friends who never made it home,” Donlon said in the news release. “The experience touched me deeply and I am proud to have the opportunity to share my story and the mission of Wreaths Across America with those who will listen.” 

Norma Donlon said, “As people who have dedicated our lives to the service of our military and their families, to have the opportunity to play a small role in this important mission is both an honor and privilege.”

 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Escort Breakfast-Narraguagus H.S.

          -Escort Briefing/Blessing of the Fleet

Convoy leaves high school for Trek to Arlington

Hancock Church -- Drive By Wreath Delivery

Ceremony TJ Maxx -- Ellsworth

Ceremony Quirk Chevrolet Dealership -- Bangor (11 a.m.)

Lincolnville Beach -- Drive By Wreath Delivery

Medomak Valley H.S. (ceremony starts at 2 p.m.)

Windham H.S.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ceremony Scarborough H.S.

Ceremony Kennebunk H.S.

Ceremony Kittery Trading Post

American Legion Post 35 -- Hampton, NH

Marlboro Fish & Game Association

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ceremony Montachussett Technical High School

Ceremony Worcester State University -- Worcester, MA

Ceremony Branford High School -- Branford, CT

St. Ann Club -- Norwalk, CT

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ceremony -- Manville High School -- Manville, NJ

Ceremony -- Vietnam Memorial & Museum -- Holmdel, NJ

Petro Stop -- Bordentown, NJ

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ceremony -- Silver Lake Elementary Schoo -- Middletown, DE

Ceremony -- Camden F.D. – Camden, DE

Ceremony -- Wicomico Youth Civic Center, Salsbury, MD

American Legion Post -- Stevensville, MD

Friday, December 15, 2017

Ceremony -- Pentagon

Ceremony -- Vietnam Wall

Ceremony -- WW II & Korean War Memorials

Evening Event

Saturday, December 16, 2017

National Wreaths Across America Day

 

Chevrolet, who has  sponsored the escort vehicles transporting participating Gold Star families and veterans for the last three years, will again provide 12 wrapped vehicles in addition to sponsoring 4,000 wreaths for Arlington.

“It is difficult to express what this organization means to our employees and customers. I have never experienced anything as moving as participating in the escort of wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery,” said Dan Adamcheck, regional director, sales, service and marketing for Chevrolet, in the release. “We are honored to be a part of this great program and to help spread awareness for the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.”

Escort participants include American Gold Star Mothers, Blue Star Families, Gold Star Wives of America, veterans and the Wreaths Across America extended family. Members of the Patriot Guard Riders, Patriot Riders of America and Rolling Thunder will flank the escort along with law enforcement from Maine to ensure safe transport for all participants throughout the week.

Eleven tractor-trailers representing Walmart Transportation, Schneider National, Oakhurst Dairy, Witte Bros. Exchange, Inc., Hartt Transportation Systems, Inc., Delhaize Transportation LLC (DBA Hannaford Supermarkets), American Trucking Associations – Share the Road, Pottle’s Transportation, Cargo Transporters, Inc., Nestle Waters North America, Inc. (DBA Poland Spring Bottling Company) and North State Transportation driven by Gold Star father Scott Harris, will haul a portion of the 245,700 sponsored wreaths heading to Arlington National Cemetery for placement on Dec. 16.

 

See our previous articles:

Wreaths Across America has a special ceremony at Medomak Valley High School

Wreaths Across America travels through Midcoast Sunday, plans stops in Lincolnville, Thomaston

Wreaths Across America cofounder issues challenge during heartfelt ceremony

Wreaths Across America: The convoy makes its way down the coast of Maine

Wreaths Across America: An inspirational day at Arlington National Cemetery

Sarah Thompson can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com