In 1992, Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company, had a surplus of Christmas Wreaths and began a tradition of laying wreaths at the graves of veterans buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The first year included an older section of the cemetery that received fewer and fewer visitors each year. This annual tradition expanded over the years covering more and more sections of the cemetery. In 2006, a picture of the wreaths laced with snow went viral on the internet. Requests poured in from all parts of the country wanting to emulate the tradition at their local cemeteries. In 2007, Wreaths Across America was formed as a nonprofit 501c3 organization to expand the effort nationwide. Alabama’s formal participation in the event began on December 10, 2009 following the opening of the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo.
The Blue Star Salute Foundation has been a leader in the fund-raising efforts to place a live Maine wreath at the site of each grave in the Alabama National Cemetery. Please consider becoming a sponsor using the form at the bottom of the page. This form provides for donating in memory of a loved one who has left us or in honor of a living patriot. These names will be added to the Wreaths Across America Memory/Honor Board on display at the event and also available online.
Wreaths Across America State House Ceremony, Montgomery, Alabama
The Blue Star Salute Foundation, Inc. partners with the Support Committee of the Alabama Nation Cemetery and the Bessemer Civil Air patrol each year to plan and produce the Wreaths Across America State House Ceremony in the Alabama Capital. The patriotic event culminates with the Signing of a Proclamation naming the second Saturday of December as Wreaths Across America Day in the State of Alabama and the placement of the State House Wreath at the Alabama’s Fallen Heroes Memorial.
Annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony
The Support Committee for the Alabama National Cemetery plans and coordinates the ceremony, with logistical support of the Bessemer Civil Air Patrol, to lay the live balsam wreaths on every grave in the cemetery. At the conclusion of the patriotic Ceremony, family members pick up wreaths and place them at the graves of their loved ones. Shortly thereafter, hundreds of volunteers finish the job of placing wreaths at every grave. See the Support Committee link below for information on this year's ceremony.
The video covers the State House Ceremony (produced by Blue Star), the delivery of Wreaths to Alabama National Cemetery, and the Ceremony and Wreath Laying Event (produced by the Support Committee). The background music is a song called “The Snow at Arlington”, which was released in 2011 by Maine singer-songwriter, Don Campbell. It is the Wreaths Across America story from the perspective of the truckers who leave Maine in convoys and deliver the wreaths to cemeteries across America.
It was a frosty morning on the hallowed grounds of the Alabama National Cemetery. We are pleased to report that your donations ensured that we were able to once again have wreaths placed on every grave.
Please enjoy and share the pictures from the Support Committee’s Virtual Wreaths Across America Ceremony below. For those who donated “In Memory” or “In Honor” of a loved one, please note that our posters will be on display at the public information center complex located near the entrance to the cemetery until January 7, 2021. A pdf file of these posters is also available for download (scroll down this page a few sections).
Again, thank you for being involved and committed to our endeavors which “Honor Those Who Serve…Those Who Have Served…and, Those Who Have Fallen in Military Service” throughout Alabama.
Governor Ivey's speech at the 11th Annual Wreaths Across America State House Ceremony on 12/9/2019.