‘Wreaths Across America’ on a mission to lay wreaths on all 750 known veterans buried in Woodland Cemetery

Local News

The non-profit has been honoring veterans since 1992.

DES MOINES — Veterans have two federal holidays every year that recognize their bravery: Memorial Day in the spring and Veterans Day in the fall.

“Wreaths Across America” is coordinating many more special occasions for veterans, with more than 1,600 wreath-laying ceremonies planned for across the United States, at sea and abroad.

One of these ceremonies will be at the historic Woodland Cemetery on December 14, or “National Wreaths Across America Day.”

The national movement’s goal is to cover every veteran’s grave marker with a Christmas wreath. This includes veterans from every American war.

Des Moines Parks and Recreation needs your support to help fund and place 750 wreaths to remember and honor our veterans.

The tradition started in 1992, when Worcester Wreath Company in Maine had a surplus of wreaths. The owner Morrill Worcester decided to use the extra wreaths to honor veterans at the Arlington Cemetery.

The quiet, annual tribute went on for years. That’s until a photo of the snow-covered Arlington headstones with wreaths on them went viral in 2005.

After that, the Wreaths Across America mission spread across the country and beyond. That defining moment made it into the non-profit that it is today.

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.