December 11, 2018 - Issue: Vol. 164, No. 195 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 2nd Session
SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 195
(Senate - December 11, 2018)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Pages S7435-S7436] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS ______ 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. ____________________