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Norwood - Local Town Pages

Remember, Honor, Teach

By Michele Taranto
Wreaths Across American began a long time ago in the eyes of a 12-year-old paper boy who visited the Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. As an adult, Morrill Worcester remembered how moved he was during that Washington DC trip and the placeholders of the brave men and women who fought for his country. 
In 1992, Morrill, now an adult and the owner of Worcester Wreath, thought back to that to that memorable scene at America’s cemetery, and made arrangements to place a surplus of wreaths in an older section of the graveyard. Through the efforts of generous volunteers, those wreaths were decorated, transported. Those wreaths were decorated, transported, and laid on those graves of fallen soldiers. This tribute went on quietly for over a decade, until 2005 when pictures of the Arlington stones adorned with wreaths circulated the internet, and not only did requests come in with donors wanting to help, Worcester began sending seven wreaths to each state, one for each branch of the military and an additional in tribute to POW/MIAs. Just a year later, wreath ceremonies were being held at over 150 locations across the country. 
In 2007, the Worcester family, along with veteran organizations, groups, and individuals who had assisted with the wreath ceremonies in Arlington formed Wreaths Across America, a 501 (3) (c), non-profit organization to expand the effort, with a simple, yet powerful mission: REMEMBER. HONOR. TEACH. Remember fallen U.S. veterans, Honor those who serve, and Teach children the value of freedom.
In 2022, 2.7 million sponsored veterans’ wreaths were placed on headstones at 3,702 locations in honor of the nation’s service members. 
This is Norwood’s sixth season in participating in Wreaths Across America where wreaths will be placed on local service men and women’s graves at Highland and Old Parish Cemeteries. This expression is in coordination with wreath-laying ceremonies with Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,600 locations across 50 states in the United States.
The event will take place on Saturday, Dec, 16, 12 noon, Highland Cemetery. Volunteers and visitors are encouraged to arrive between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m., as the minute of silence across Norwood America and islands begins at 12 noon. In addition to Norwood Veterans Director Ted Mulvehill and other guest speakers, the name of each local veteran will be read aloud.
Norwood donations have steadily supported this event the past five years, however, more supporters are needed to purchase wreaths and volunteers to lay the wreaths on the graves. Wreaths are 100% donation based and can be purchased by visiting, click on the Red sponsor button. 
This program thrives on generosity. There is still time left to donate. At press time, only 347 wreaths, 8.3% of the goal, were purchased for Norwood. For the price of a few cups of coffee, a fallen local veteran will be honored this holiday season. An individual wreath sponsorship is $15, 2 for $30, 5 for $75, or 10 for $150. 
Wreaths Across America is a venue to not only pay tribute to this country’s military but an opportunity to pause and reflect on the meaning of holidays, and honoring those who have sacrificed so U.S. citizens can celebrate with family and friends.
For more information on Wreaths Across America or to donate, visit