SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 195
(Senate - December 11, 2018)

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[Pages S7435-S7436]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS

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  SENATE RESOLUTION 719--DESIGNATING DECEMBER 15, 2018, AS ``WREATHS 
                          ACROSS AMERICA DAY''

  Ms. COLLINS (for herself and Mr. King) submitted the following 
resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

                              S. Res. 719

       Whereas, in 1992, the Wreaths Across America project began 
     an annual tradition of donating and transporting Maine balsam 
     fir veterans' wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery each 
     December and placing those wreaths on the graves of the 
     fallen heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery;
       Whereas 5,000 donated veterans' wreaths were transported 
     from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery during the first 
     year of the Wreaths Across America project and placed on the 
     graves of the fallen heroes buried at Arlington National 
     Cemetery;
       Whereas, during the 27 years preceding the date of adoption 
     of this resolution, more than 6,082,300 wreaths have been 
     sent to locations, including national cemeteries and veterans 
     memorials, in every State and overseas;
       Whereas the mission of the Wreaths Across America project, 
     to ``Remember, Honor, Teach'', is carried out in part by 
     coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in all 50 States and 
     overseas, including at--
       (1) Arlington National Cemetery;
       (2) veterans cemeteries; and
       (3) other memorial locations;
       Whereas the Wreaths Across America project carries out a 
     week-long veterans parade between the State of Maine and the 
     Commonwealth of Virginia, stopping along the way to spread a 
     message about the importance of--
       (1) remembering the fallen heroes of the United States;
       (2) honoring those who serve; and
       (3) teaching the next generation of children about--
       (A) the service of veterans; and
       (B) the sacrifices made by veterans and the families of 
     veterans to preserve the freedoms enjoyed by the people of 
     the United States;
       Whereas, in 2017, approximately 1,565,300 veterans' wreaths 
     were delivered to more than 1,422 locations across the United 
     States and overseas, an increase of more than 200 locations 
     compared to the previous year;
       Whereas, in December 2018, the tradition of escorting 
     tractor-trailers filled with donated wreaths from Maine to 
     Arlington National Cemetery will be continued by--
       (1) the Patriot Guard Riders; and
       (2) other patriotic escort units, including--
       (A) motorcycle units;
       (B) law enforcement units; and
       (C) first responder units;

       Whereas hundreds of thousands of individuals volunteer each 
     December to help lay veterans' wreaths;
       Whereas, in 2018, the trucking industry in the United 
     States will continue to support the Wreaths Across America 
     project by providing drivers, equipment, and related services 
     to assist in the transportation of wreaths across the United 
     States to more than 1,500 locations;
       Whereas the Senate designated December 16, 2017, as 
     ``Wreaths Across America Day''; and
       Whereas, on December 15, 2018, the Wreaths Across America 
     project will continue the proud legacy of bringing veterans' 
     wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery: Now, therefore, be it

[[Page S7436]]

       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) designates December 15, 2018, as ``Wreaths Across 
     America Day'';
       (2) honors--
       (A) the Wreaths Across America project;
       (B) patriotic escort units, including--
       (i) motorcycle units;
       (ii) law enforcement units; and
       (iii) first responder units;
       (C) the trucking industry in the United States; and
       (D) the volunteers and donors involved in this worthy 
     tradition; and
       (3) recognizes--
       (A) the service of veterans and members of the Armed 
     Forces; and
       (B) the sacrifices that veterans, members of the Armed 
     Forces, and the families of veterans and members of the Armed 
     Forces have made, and continue to make, for the United 
     States, a great nation.

  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I am pleased to be joined by my colleague 
Senator Angus King in sponsoring this resolution to designate December 
15, 2018, as Wreaths Across America Day. Throughout human history, the 
evergreen wreath has been offered as a tribute to heroes. On December 
15, we gather to offer this enduring symbol of valor and sacrifice to 
America's heroes. In this season of giving, we pay tribute to those who 
have given us the most precious gift of all, our freedom.
  Some who secured that gift did not return home. Some did return but 
have since passed on. Some remain missing but will never be forgotten. 
Many still live in honor among us.
  We here at home must always respect their service. Often, we do this 
on those special days we set aside each year--Memorial Day, the Fourth 
of July, and Veterans Day. Sometimes, we do this spontaneously because 
our hearts, rather than our calendars, tell us to. That is the origin 
of Wreaths Across America.
  Twenty-six Christmases ago, Morrill and Karen Worcester took time 
during their busiest season to donate and deliver 5,000 wreaths from 
their company in Harrington, Maine, to Arlington National Cemetery to 
mark the graves of fallen heroes. The people of Maine are proud that 
this heartfelt expression of America's gratitude began in our State, 
and I congratulate Karen and Morrill for being awarded the 
Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Patriot Award this April, the 
highest award the Society can bestow to civilians.
  In the years since, that heartfelt gesture became a national 
phenomenon and an American tradition. More than six million wreaths 
have been laid by tens of thousands of volunteers at more than 600 
cemeteries, here and abroad, and even on ships at sea. This remarkable 
effort is made possible by trucking companies across the Nation who 
donate their services and by the generosity of thousands of volunteers 
and supporters. With the Patriot Guard escort, the convoy from Maine to 
Washington is greeted at every stop along the way by grateful citizens 
of all ages. On December 15--after months of hard work, careful 
planning, and generous donations--wreaths will be laid where American 
heroes lie at rest.
  This year, for the first time, more than 9,300 Maine-made balsam 
wreaths will mark the headstones of all American service members laid 
to rest at the Normandy American Cemetery in France. It has been nearly 
75 years since our brave troops stormed those beaches to liberate 
Europe but they will never be forgotten.
  Wreaths Across America honors our departed heroes, but it does even 
more. It tells our veterans that we honor their service. It tells our 
men and women in uniform today that we are grateful for their courage 
and devotion to duty. It tells the families of those serving our 
country that they are in our thoughts and prayers. And it tells the 
families of the fallen that we share their grief.
  The mission of Wreaths Across America is: Remember, Honor, Teach. 
Thanks to the spirit of this Maine-made tradition, we remember and 
honor America's veterans, while also teaching the generations to come 
of the sacrifices that have been made to secure a future of peace and 
liberty. May God bless these heroes, and may God bless America.

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