Seacoast Answers 'Call to Salute'

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"Wreaths Across America"

By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, December 14, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Atlantic News]
ROLLING -- Two tractor trailer truckloads of Christmas wreaths bound for Arlington National Cemetery were given a public salute while passing through downtown Hampton. Shown above is the crowd at Marelli Square.
[Atlantic News Courtesy Photo]

HAMPTON -- Seacoast area Veterans and civilians gathered in downtown Hampton Monday afternoon to salute truckloads of wreaths heading to Arlington National Cemetery to be placed on the graves of America's fallen.

Braving the day's chilly, inclement weather and somewhat icy conditions, members of Hampton's American Legion Post #35 took part in saluting the convoy, which is currently traveling south on Route 1 from Worcester Wreath in Harrington, ME.

Legion Chaplain John Holman estimated that approximately 60 or so people were in attendance at Monday's salute, with other stops scheduled along the way. Many lining Lafayette Road waved flags and held signs to show their support for America and her troops.

The entourage paused in downtown Hampton, the trucks emblazoned with "Remember, Honor and Teach" emblazoned upon them. Speaking directly to the Morrill Worcester family, whose company supplies the wreaths each year, Commander Ralph Fatello told them, "On behalf of Post #35, the Hampton Police Department, the Winnacunnet High School ROTC and the entire Seacoast community, we thank you for this truly wonderful deed."

Fatello added, "May the spirit of those brave men and women, who you are honoring in Arlington with these wreaths, guide you on a safe journey. God bless you."

In issuing last week's "Call to Salute" for when the wreaths passed through town, Fatello said, "These wreaths are a memorial to the Veterans whose grave it is placed on, honoring them for their sacrifice. Let's be part of this historical event."

A supplier to LL Bean, Worcester Wreath has donated more than 5000 wreaths each year since 1992 to adorn the headstones of fallen Veterans.

Last year marked the 15th year of the annual project, as well as the start of "Wreaths Across America," a campaign designed to honor deceased Veterans in each and every state and national cemetery across the country. For more about the wreath project visit

(Top) Gold Star Mother Natalie Healy; (Middle) one of the two tractor trailer truckloads from the convoy; (Next to last) Legion Post #35 Commander Ralph G. Fatello with Hampton Police Sgt. Steve Henderson, Deputy Chief Rich Sawyer, and Chief Jamie Sullivan; (Bottom) one of the vehicles in the long convoy from Maine.
[Atlantic News Courtesy Photos]