All Sections
Welcome guest, you have 2 views left. | Register | Sign In

Trucks on way to Arlington Cemetery with wreaths of gratitude

RAYMOND - One by one, Walmart truck drivers carefully placed Christmas remembrance wreaths around the Civil War monument on the town common Monday.

Moments later, they climbed up into their delivery trucks filled with wreaths parked in a circle around the common and continued on their solemn journey to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and other veterans' cemeteries around the country.

The trucks were part of a convoy with Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization that recruits thousands of volunteers to deliver wreaths to the headstones of the nation's war dead in time for the Christmas season.

"We collectively thank our military and their families for our freedom," said Don Godwin, a driver from the Walmart Distribution Center in Raymond who joined the convoy and spoke at Monday's ceremony.

Wreaths Across America is a tradition started by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992.

Godwin said the event is now known as "the world's largest veterans' parade" with stops at monuments, veterans' homes and other places along the way to remind people of the importance of remembering and honoring veterans and teaching others about their sacrifices.

Monday's visit to Raymond was the convoy's only stop in New Hampshire.

This year, volunteers from Wreaths Across America will lay their one millionth remembrance wreath as part of a journey that began Saturday night in Harrington, Maine, with the convoy of trucks. The majority will travel to Arlington National Cemetery, but others will deliver wreaths to cemeteries in other states.

"This is just a terrific remembrance for our veterans. We have a day called Veterans Day and if I were down in Washington and became President of the United States . I would certainly love to have 365 days be Veterans Day because the veterans are the ones that allow us, and they have for years, to stand here in the town common and be able to enjoy what we enjoy," said former state Sen. Jack Barnes of Raymond, an Army veteran.

As of Monday, more than 70,000 wreaths were scheduled to be delivered to Arlington, but orders for more wreaths will be taken through Dec. 13. Wreaths Across America's goal is to lay 100,000 wreaths in Arlington this year during Saturday's National Remembrance Ceremony. The organization expects to deliver as many as 400,000 wreaths around the country.

The cost of the program is paid for through individual wreath sponsors, corporate donors and volunteer truckers.

Town Manager Craig Wheeler said the Wreaths Across America event is a way to teach young people about the value of freedom.

"We are gathered here on the Raymond town common to be witness to that lesson and to honor with our presence the convoy, the drivers, the volunteers, which together represent a sum that is greater than all of its parts," he said.

For more information on Wreaths Across America, visit the group's website,


To improve the chance of seeing your comment posted here or published in the New Hampshire Union Leader:

  • Identify yourself. Accounts using fake or incomplete names are suspended regardless of the quality of posts.
  • Say something new, stay on topic, keep it short.
  • Links to outside URLs are discouraged, if used they should be on topic.
  • Avoid comments in bad taste, write well, avoid using all capital letters
  • Don't cite facts about individuals or businesses without providing a means to verify the claim
  • If you see an objectionable comment please click the "Report Abuse" button and be sure to tell us why.

Note: Comments are the opinion of the respective poster and not of the publisher.

Be the first to comment.

Post a comment

You must sign in before you can post comments. If you are experiencing issues with your account please e-mail


Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow our RSS feed
Union Leader app for Apple iPad or Android *
Click to download from Apple Apps StoreClick to download from Android Marketplace
* e-Edition subscription required

More NH People

Peterborough librarian has stories to tell

   0   NH People PUBLISHED - 8:45 pm 11/09  

Londonderry man awarded Carnegie Medal for heroism

   0   NH People PUBLISHED - 11:24 pm 9/24  

NH Angle - NH People