Alice Robinson, auxiliary chairperson for Frank L. Mitchell VFW Post 3335 holds up two veteran’s wreath pages [decorated by Spruce Mountain Elementary School students] on Nov. 8 while the election was taking place at Spruce Mountain Primary School in Livermore. Robinson is a resident of that town and has selected Wreaths Across America as her project while chairperson. She had provided the school in Jay with 30 copies of the coloring page but 191 colored wreaths each with a written thank you were collected. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

JAY — Alice Robinson, Frank L. Mitchell VFW Post 3335 auxiliary chairperson has chosen Wreaths Across America as her project, with several things already accomplished.

Robinson provided Spruce Mountain Elementary School with 30 copies of a veteran’s wreath students could color and write a thank you note for a veteran on. During an interview on Nov. 8, Robinson said she collected 191 completed pages. That Thursday Robinson planned to take the pages to Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta to give to the veterans there.

The veteran’s wreath used in the Wreaths Across America program is a symbol of honor, respect and victory, Robinson said. According to a fact sheet from Wreaths Across America Robinson shared with the teachers and the Livermore Falls Advertiser, 10 balsam bouquets make up each veteran’s wreath representing the 10 special qualities veterans embody:

•  Their belief in a greater good

•  Their love for each other

•  Their strength, work ethic, and character

•  Their honesty and integrity


•  Their humility, selflessness and modesty

•  Their ambitions and aspirations

•  Their optimism for America

•  Their concern for the future

•  Their pride in their duties

•  Their hopes and dreams that didn’t always come true, but left them with no regrets


The evergreens in the wreath represent longevity and endurance, the red bow great sacrifice, the forest scent purity and simplicity, and the circular shape eternity.

Wreaths Across America was founded by Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington. In 1992 his company had a surplus of wreaths. Remembering a trip he made to Arlington National Cemetery as a boy, with the help of Sen. Olympia Snowe arrangements were made to place the wreaths in an older section of the cemetery where the number of visitors had been dwindling.

Worcester continued donating wreaths each year for the cemetery. In 2005 a photo of the wreath-adorned gravestones blanketed in snow circulated on the internet, bringing the project to national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from those seeking to continue the project in their states.

In 2006 the Patriot Guard Riders volunteered to escort the wreaths going to Arlington and the annual Veterans Honor Parade that travels the east coast every December began. In 2007 the Worcester family and others formed Wreaths Across America, a non-profit organization with a mission to “Remember. Honor. Teach.”

“In 2010, people laid 220,000 wreaths at 545 locations,” Robinson said. “Wreath laying is held annually on the second or third Saturday of December. This year the annual parade from Harrington to Arlington National Cemetery will begin on Dec. 17.”

Robinson said the auxiliary has collected $491 – from AMVETS, Otis Federal Credit Union, VFW, and others – which will buy 48 wreaths. “Of those, 24 will go to Arlington National Cemetery and 24 will go to our local cemeteries where there are 670 veteran’s graves.”

One wreath can be purchased for $15 while two cost $30 with another one provided free, Robinson noted. “We hope to make a lot more money to buy more wreaths next year,” she said.

Robinson’s husband, son and grandson all served in the military. “I am proud to be in the auxiliary and working to support veterans,” she added.

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