ARLINGTON, VA - DECEMBER 12: Sarah Walton hugs the tombstone of her husband, Lt. Col. James Walton, at Arlington National Cemetery after placing a Christmas wreath at his graveside December 12, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia.
What began as a simple gesture by a wreath maker who shipped excess wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery two decades ago continues to grow.
A convoy of trucks will depart Sunday from Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine. The trucks will carry wreaths to be delivered to hundreds of locations. Arlington will get the most, roughly 100,000 balsam wreaths with red bows that will adorn headstones this holiday season.
The tradition started when wreath company head Morrill Worcester found himself with 5,000 wreaths that he couldn't bring to market. With the help of Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, he had them delivered to Arlington.
It's evolved into a broader effort called Wreaths Across America. The nonprofit says 406,000 wreaths are being shipped to more than 800 locations across the country. The wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington is set for Dec. 15.