Sunday, 09 December 2018 16:28

Wreaths Across America convoy visits Ellsworth Featured

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ELLSWORTH -The Wreaths Across America convoy stopped over in Ellsworth on Sunday on their way to Arlington, Virginia.


Truckers, law enforcement, and veterans from around the country rolled into the Maine Coast Mall parking lot on their Wreaths Across America journey.


In what started as a simple way to say thank you, Wreaths Across America now takes a million Maine-made wreaths to be placed at the graves of veterans in Arlington National Cemetery.


"As a solider I was trained to drive 18-wheelers," said Sergeant First Class Glenn Roberts, in the U.S. Army, "so I'm kind of excited to see all the trucks roll into town...the army has made a commitment to the public, and without the public's support, the army can't thrive."


The balsam wreaths are a way to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.


And the truckers taking them from Washington County got a warm welcome on a chilly Sunday morning, as peopled lined the parking lot's entrance.


The event was put on by the Hancock County Sheriff's Office, Hannaford, and Darling's. ABC 7 and Fox 22's news director, Susan Farley, was the emcee for the event.


This is the fourth year Ellsworth has been a stop on the way down to Virginia.


"We don't want to forget people who have given the ultimate sacrifice, so that you and I can live a free life and do all the things we want to do and enjoy life," said Sheriff Scott Kane of the Hancock County Sheriff's Office.


For the first time this year, Wreaths of America is going global. More than 9,000 wreaths are going to France, to be laid at the graves at the Normandy American Cemetery.


Senator Susan Collins applauded those efforts, and said she was happy to speak at what has become a Maine tradition.


"I don't think there's a more patriotic state in the union than the state of Maine," said the Republican senator from Maine, "it is truly extraordinary, it's something that unites our state and our country."


The turnout meant the most to the Gold Star Families riding along in the convoy, like one woman who lost her son in the army in 2004.


"It's very important that we teach our young people the meaning of sacrifice and service," said Becky Christmas, who is the national president of American Gold Star Mothers. "I know every minute of every day that we're on this journey it's going to be emotional. It really, really is, but it's a good thing."


The truck convoy is expected to get to Arlington on December 15th.


Senators Susan Collins and Angus King (I - Maine) have authored a bill in Washington, DC to make December 15th - Wreaths Across America Day.


Sunday morning's convoy did have a short delay. We're told two of the trucks got into a minor fender bender. No one was hurt and those trucks were able to keep going.

Kelly Mitchell

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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...