Knox deputies lay wreaths in nation's capital
Washington, D.C. — In what has become an annual tradition, Knox County Sheriff's deputies and jail officers spent Dec. 15 laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.
This is the third year officers attended the ceremonies in Washington, D.C. They joined nearly 200,000 volunteers across the country.
Wreaths Across America began in 2007 as an offshoot of the Arlington National Cemetery wreath project, which was started in 1992 with the annual placement of wreaths donated by Worcester Wreath Co., located in Harrington. Today, it is a monumental initiative, with partners including Civil Air Patrol, the Patriot Guard Riders, the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C., and other veterans groups participating, not to mention the tens of thousands of private citizens who purchase wreath sponsorships.
Each year a convoy carrying more than 200,000 wreaths makes its way from Hancock County and threads throughout the eastern United States on its way to Washington, D.C.
This year, 110,662 wreaths were placed on gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery and marked the laying of the one-millionth wreath since the program began in the early 1990s, according to a news release from Wreaths Across America.
“To say we are overwhelmed by the number of people who came out to support our mission is an understatement. The patriotism shown here today fills my heart with hope and we are thankful beyond words,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America, in a news release. “We will remember heroes today, and honor their families, but we will also teach our children the importance of character. The character of an American is not easily defined, but it can be seen by the sacrifices of our young men and women fighting to protect our freedoms, and the loved ones they leave behind.”
Officers participating in this year's event were: Knox County Sheriff's Deputies John Palmer, Nathaniel Jack, Michael Sprague and Knox County Jail Corrections Officers Timothy Davis and Kathy Burrell.