PITTSBURG — All across America, over a million wreaths were laid out in observance of the national Wreaths Across America Day, held annually, on the second or third Saturday of December.
At precisely 1 p.m. at Pittsburg State University Veterans Memorial, under the direction of PSU ROTC the ceremony began to “Remember, Honor and Teach.” Former and current service members placed wreaths on stands by memorial seals that represent each branch of service.
“We are honored to be Americans, to live in a society of free people from many walks of life,” Senior Cadet Zaw Aung said during the ceremony. “The freedoms we enjoy today have not come without a price.
“In cemeteries throughout this nation are men and women who gave their lives so that we can live freely and without fear.”
The ceremony is in coordination with the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. There are more than 1,400 additional locations in all 50 states, at sea, and abroad.
The annual ceremony was originated by Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. According to a release, a trip to the Arlington National Cemetery when he was a 12-year-old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News left a lasting impression on him.
In 1992, his company had a surplus of wreaths at the end of the holiday season, and recalling that boyhood experience, he arranged to place them at Arlington in an older section of the cemetery, the release said.
Worcester began sending seven wreaths to every state in honor of each military branch and for POW/MIAs, and ceremonies were held at more than 150 locations. In 2007, the family, along with veterans and other groups, formed Wreaths Across America, a non-profit 501-(c)(3).  
own to include 700,000 wreaths at 1,000 locations, including ceremonies at Pearl Harbor Memorial, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and the sites of the September 11 tragedies.
Wreaths Across America’s annual pilgrimage from Harrington, Maine, to Arlington National Cemetery has become known as the world’s largest veterans’ parade, stopping at schools, monuments, veterans’ homes and communities all along the way.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.