Made-in-Maine wreaths headed to Arlington for holidays
By CLARKE CANFIELD, The Associated Press
Dec 7, 2006 9:23 AM (17 hrs ago)
HARRINGTON, Maine - Money virtually grows on trees in eastern Maine, where balsam fir branches are transformed into hundreds of thousands of Christmas wreaths worth millions of dollars each holiday season.
For Morrill Worcester, owner of the state's largest wreath company, the season is more about heart than money. This month, for the 15th year, he'll send a truckload of 5,000 wreaths to be placed on gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery.
Worcester, 56, never served in the military. But he feels the need to show his appreciation to the nation's veterans.
Every day, people contact him to give thanks. Some call him a "great American."
"I'm not a great American. I'm a grateful American," Worcester said.
This year, Worcester is extending his gratitude nationwide. Besides sending wreaths to Arlington, he is spearheading wreath-laying ceremonies at nearly 230 veterans cemeteries and monuments in every state and Puerto Rico. He's donating about 8,000 wreaths.
The ceremonies are to be held simultaneously at noon EST on Dec. 14.