ELLSWORTH – The Wreaths Across America convoy stopped over in Ellsworth Sunday on their week long journey to Virginia.
What began as a pilgrimage by a Maine wreath maker has turned into hundreds of thousands of wreaths going from Maine to veterans’ graves in Arlington National Cemetery.
This year, a Gold Star Mother was leading the convoy.
“You often hear that a person dies twice, once when they take their last breath and once when that name is never spoken again,” said Mona Gunn, the national president of American Gold Star Mothers.
Her son, Cherone Gunn, was killed during the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000. He’s buried in Arlington.
“Being a child that was born on Valentine’s Day he was very lovable and loved his country…no matter where they’re placing that wreath, you say that name again because that keeps the memory of that person alive,” said Gunn.
The Ellsworth stop-over, emceed by our own Susan Farley, gave locals a chance to share their stories, and to say thank you.
“My father is a veteran and it’s just a wonderful way to pay tribute to the men and women who fight for our freedoms,” said Laura Bloomer, a Penobscot resident.
The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember, honor, and teach.
That last bit is important to a Bangor native in this year’s convoy, Wayne Hanson, also the chairman of the board, who said his favorite part is seeing kids participate.
He said his favorite part is, “every time we drive through and we see those youngsters out there, because hopefully their parents are telling them what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.”
On a cold morning, it was a warm Hancock County sendoff.