WHEREAS, in 1992, Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, had a surplus of wreaths at the end of the holiday season; and
WHEREAS, with the help of then Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, the Worcester family, along with veterans, and other groups and individuals who had helped with their annual Christmas wreath ceremony in Arlington, formed Wreaths Across America, to continue and expand the effort to honor each branch of the military and service men and women; and
WHEREAS, on December 13, 2008, the U.S. Congress unanimously voted and declared “Wreaths Across America Day” to be celebrated annually; and
WHEREAS, the mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember, honor, and teach — remember the fallen, honor those who serve and those who have served, and teach the youth of America the value of freedom and the sacrifices that are made to protect it; and
WHEREAS, Wreaths Across America coordinates a series of ceremonies at state houses and a week-long Veterans Parade between Maine and Virginia, during which stops are made to spread the message about the importance of honoring our service members and veterans; and
WHEREAS, Wreaths Across America Day involves the Wreaths Across America Remembrance Ceremony, an annual wreath laying ceremony in December at Arlington, as well as veterans cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and 24 foreign nations;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize December 15, 2018, as WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.