Wreaths Across America makes a stop in Branford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Wreaths Across America makes a stop in Branford

Posted: Updated:
The Wreaths Across America made its way through Connecticut on Tuesday (WFSB) The Wreaths Across America made its way through Connecticut on Tuesday (WFSB)

A holiday tradition honoring veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice made a stop in Connecticut on Tuesday.

Being led by a police escort, a caravan of 11 tractor trailers filled with Christmas wreaths made its way into Branford Tuesday afternoon.

It pulled into the fire headquarters and giving curious onlookers a chance to take a peek at Wreaths Across America.

"I’m very moved, almost to the point of tears,” said Regina Stasiak, of Branford.

Started in 1992, the family behind Maine’s Worcester Wreath Company found themselves with extra wreaths towards the end of the holiday season.

Rather than go to waste, they began looking at a way to use the wreaths to honor vets at Arlington National Cemetery.

A trucking company provided the transportation and volunteers tied the red bows, placing them on the graves there.

“I had a friend who went down, fly down to Arlington National Cemetery just a few years ago, just to take pictures. They came back beautiful, I told her this was coming and I wanted to come out and see it, show my appreciation,” said Ceci Demarest, of Killingworth. "I think it’s good for the families to know their loved ones are not forgotten."

It went on for years until in 2005, when a photo of the wreaths on the stones in Arlington went viral.

That's when the family began sending seven wreaths to every state, one for each branch of the military and for POWs and those missing in action.

It’s grown every year since, with just a few years ago, volunteers laying more than 700 thousand wreaths at 1,000 locations.

The annual wreath laying ceremony will be held this weekend in Virginia, with the caravan stopping at schools, monuments, veterans’ homes and communities with its simple message to "remember, honor, teach."

"It means that people care and that they come out and come out and show their respect for the guys that are going to get those wreaths and I know some of those guys, so it means something to me,” said Rick Coutts, an Air Force veteran.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.