THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
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Wreaths Across America Crosses the Atlantic
Wreaths were placed in Normandy, France to honor fallen US Soldiers
The Normandy American Cemetery has become the first overseas cemetery to participate in the annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) project. In a ceremony on December 1, wreaths were laid on the headstones of all US service members who have been laid to rest at the cemetery, which is located in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. It marks the first time that WAA has sent US-made balsam wreaths to be placed on foreign soil.
The event, which also saw a ceremonial placement of wreaths on the five D-Day invasion beaches, saw the transportation of nearly 9,500 wreaths from Maine, USA, to France. Morrill Worcester, founder of WAA, said ahead of the event: "When I began placing wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992, I could never have imagined that this idea would impact people around the world the way it has". Wayne Hanson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wreaths Across America, also said "Our goal at Wreaths Across America is to honor and remember all those who served and sacrificed for the freedoms we as Americans enjoy every day ... To be given the opportunity and support needed to advance our mission to Normandy is truly a gift and we intend to continue to move forward until one day, all US veterans laid to rest are honored."
Members of AARO (The Association of Americans Resident Overseas) attended the event, with AARO Board Members, Mark Levinson and Victoria Férauge, meeting with Mr Worcester and thanking him and his organization's volunteers for their work. You can see AARO's report on the full day on their website, via https://aaro.org/events/event-reports/766-wreaths-across-america-at-the-normandy-american-military-cemetery.
WAA's first project on foreign soil opens the door for further events at ABMC (American Battle Monuments Commission) sites in Europe, so keep an eye on the Wreaths Across America website, https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org to keep up to date with future potential events in the UK and Europe.
National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, December 15 2018, with over 1,500 locations across the USA taking part. To learn more about how to sponsor wreaths or volunteer in your own community, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.