The crowd cheered and flags waved to welcome the annual Wreaths Across America convoy at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro Dec. 10.

After the full convoy arrived, attendees went to the gymnasium for a ceremony where female veterans representing each war were presented with honorary wreaths.

Click for photos from this event.

“Freedom is not free,” Karen Worcester, WAA Executive Director, said as she addressed the attendees. She noted that the convoy saw people standing along side the roadway, waving flags and showing their patriotism as it made its way through Midcoast towns.

“They understand that we need to keep the very heart of America alive,” Worcester said. She thanked the audience for their participation and urged them to “Remember. Honor. And Teach.”

Representatives from each of the five towns in Regional School Unit 40 were also presented with honorary wreaths.

Students, law enforcement officials, and first responders participated in the ceremony.

Following the special ceremony, Morrill Worcester said despite slippery roads, the convoy made its way in a timely fashion.

“Even with the snowy conditions, the number of people on the sides of the roads was really incredible,” he added, “Every year it just keeps gaining and gaining.”

Morrill said he saw flags of all sizes. “I'll tell you, patriotism is not dead.”

“Right now, it's really needed,” he said.

This is the third year Medomak Valley has been included in the list of stops. The annual event started in 1992, as handmade Maine wreaths made their way to Arlington National Cemetery to be placed on the graves of veterans for the holidays.

This year's event started Dec.10 in Columbia Falls, making stops in Ellsworth, Lincolnville, and MVHS, and will finish Dec.16.

Local veteran, truck driver joins convoy

A Warren native and local veteran was chosen to be one of the many truck drivers to convoy to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia with this year's Wreaths Across America procession.

Myron Overlock, who works at Beth's Farm Market, said he gets all goosebumps when he thinks about the adventure.

"This is all I've ever wanted to do," he said, choking back tears. "It's a hell of an honor," Overlock said. "It's not about me."

Overlock said he has been trying to become a part of the annual procession for several years, to pay tribute to his fellow veterans.

He served in the Army for three years on active duty in Vietnam, then three years inactive. Overlock worked on helicopter turbine engines with the First Infantry Division.

"I got to play with some expensive toys and saw the action from a distance," Overlock said. "I came back, but I had some friends who didn't — their names are on the wall [in Washington, D.C.]."

He said if it weren't for Vince and Beth Ahlholm, owners of Beth's Farm Market, putting the truck up for the convoy, his dream would not have been realized.

"I'm just proud to be a part of it," he said.

To track the convoy's progress to Arlington online, visit WAA's social media pages (twitter@wreathsacross and official Wreaths Across America Facebook page).

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.