Freedom Is Not Free: A Grandfather in Maine Created an Evergreen Movement Reminding the World

Freedom Is Not Free: A Grandfather in Maine Created an Evergreen Movement Reminding the World

Jul 07, 2023

When a 12-year old reads a newspaper, it can impact families for decades in the form of Wreaths Across America.

I learned about Morrill today. He's the co-founder of Wreaths Across America.

The amazing staff on the Mobile Education Exhibit (MEE), brought me to tears and inspired this blog post. And one of the Gold Star family members working on the exhibit told me how it all started with Morrill Worcester winning a contest at age 12 and flying over Arlington Cemetery.

The view of the graves moved him, stuck with him, and inspired him as an adult. The inspiration to create a movement.

Morrill's massive farm in Maine serves as home base for wreaths that remind us all of the ultimate sacrifice and the family members left behind.

RELATED: Read more about Morrill and his family here.

The movement is international, and we'll be doing our part now that our local cemetery is involved.

Wow. Just wow. As of publishing this blog post, wreaths are laid annually in over 3700 locations in the United States AND abroad. From the Netherlands to Luxembourg, and even at sea, this organization honors fallen American heroes.

10 bouquets make up each wreath: the meaning and representation honoring each soldier.

On the MEE, we watched a short film and we learned that each bouquet of evergreen making up the individual wreaths had meaning.

  1. Faith
  2. Love
  3. Strength
  4. Honesty
  5. Humility
  6. Ambitions
  7. Optimism
  8. Concern
  9. Pride
  10. Hopes and Dreams: that didn't always come true, but left them without regrets.

And the wreath as a whole has intentional purpose.

  • Evergreen to symbolize longevity and endurance.
  • Red bows honoring great sacrifice.
  • Forest scent emanating purity and simplicity.
  • Circular shape for eternity.

How to be a part of the movement.


Start with recording this date into your calendar: December 16, 2023. It's the next annual celebration of remembrance the organization has on the books.

You can be a part of the wreath-laying by clicking here. Then go to the "VOLUNTEER" button and punch in your zip code or city to find a local cemetery. (Of course you can always travel to another location including Arlington!)


You can always make a financial donation! Options are all over the website.

However, volunteer opportunities exist throughout the year, not just for the annual National Wreaths Across America Day. Click here and go to the volunteer tab on the menu.


Are you a teacher? Get started here. There exists a whole curriculum for you to utilize!

Honoring the fallen with wreaths is a fantastic example of what American history is really about.

American history is about people, their stories, their sacrifices, and the legacy left for us to take forward.

Truly, freedom is not free and I'm grateful to all the Gold Star families, as well as Morrill Worcester and his family, for continuing this evergreen movement of remembrance.

Thank you, my friends, for being part of my journey into sharing history, all kinds of American history.