For Morrill Worcester, this time of year is all about remembering the heroes who died protecting the United States, one wreath at a time.
Worcester, owner of the Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, will be escorted on Sunday by Maine State Police, volunteers, veterans and Patriot Guard Riders for the 18th annual Wreaths Across America program, which will lay more than 151,000 20-inch wreaths on headstones of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery, more than 400 state and national cemeteries nationwide, and 24 cemeteries on foreign soil on Dec. 12.
What began as one man's way to honor veterans with 5,000 wreaths in 1992 has blossomed into a national nonprofit organization with more than 100,000 wreaths sponsored by individuals, businesses and community groups from Maine to Alaska.
Worcester's family-run business will donate more than 25,000 wreaths, with another 16,000 supplied by Wal-Mart, including decorations for a "mile of memories" display at New York City's Battery Park to honor 9/11 victims and veterans from New York, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, Fayetteville National Cemetery in Arkansas, and the site of the Flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania.
"It really should be awesome when they're all laid out," Worcester said of the wreaths commemorating the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. "It's really going to be nice and I'm very proud to see it blossom the way it has."
Worcester's caravan of wreath-stuffed trucks will leave Sunday from Harrington, Maine, and make 20-plus stops en route to Virginia, including visits to schools, town squares, veteran hospitals, Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts and a memorial for Gen. George Patton in Hamilton, Mass., where the military hero once lived.
"When we leave Harrington and go to Arlington, it literally is a parade from one end to the other," Worcester told FoxNews.com. "It's just incredible how many people are now involved."
Worcester, 59, said just 12 people were part of the program in 1992, when 16,000 wreaths were laid at grave sites in Arlington. Now, more than 32 trucking companies volunteer their services for the cause and the U.S. Senate voted last year to make the second Saturday in December National Wreaths Across America Day.
"That's how much it's grown," Worcester said. "It's been heartwarming to say the least, it really has. I think it's helped a lot of people, really."
Worcester said he's inspired by dozens of YouTube videos of wreath-laying ceremonies across the country, including events from Houston to Richmond, Va., to Keokuk, Iowa.
Andrea Shea King, who participated in the program in 2007, said the program was the highlight of her holiday season.
"It was absolutely the most meaningful thing that I've done and it brough home to me the enormity of the sacrifice our servicemen and women have made," King told FoxNews.com. "It says something good about a country that remembers its fallen at Christmas time."