Wreaths Across America Shows Appreciation for the Maine Sheriff's Association
Wreaths Across America wreath-laying ceremonies leading up to and on National Wreaths Across America Day, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, are conducted by motivated volunteers across this great nation and overseas. While millions of individuals unite to remember, honor and teach using a fresh balsam fir veteran’s wreath with a single red bow, their reasons for doing so are unique.
One organization working with Wreaths Across America is the Maine Sheriff’s Association. While that may conjure up visions of law enforcement wreath escorts with flashing lights and sirens there’s more to the story. It’s the behind-the-scenes effort Wreaths Across America likes to acknowledge with deep gratitude and appreciation.
“The initial request for support came to us at the Knox County Sheriff’s office in 2010,” Sheriff-elect Tim Carroll recalls. “They asked if we’d be willing to take a small trailer with wreaths down to Washington, D.C. and place them at the memorials, and we jumped at the chance. I truly believe this is the greatest country in the world, and to be able to give back just a little to our veterans and show support for their families was the greatest experience.”
Then they came home and shared that experience with other agencies in the state. Fast- forward to 2018, and each of the 16 counties in Maine is represented through the Maine Sheriff’s Association in its effort to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who currently serve and their families, and teach younger generations the value freedom.
The Maine Sheriff’s Association conducts wreath-laying ceremonies at the Vietnam, Korean and WW II war memorials. Additionally, the Maine Sheriff’s Association covers the headstones of an entire section of Arlington National Cemetery near the Mast of the U.S.S. Maine memorial. They also place a ceremonial wreath each year at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington. D.C.
“It’s overwhelming to have people thank us for being there presenting wreaths. It’s kind of ironic really,” Sheriff-Elect Carroll goes on to share. “We’re there to honor and show our appreciation to them for all they’ve done for this country, for all they’ve sacrificed, yet they give us thanks and family members hug us and so on. There are tears of gratitude on both sides.”
Sheriff-Elect Carroll says close to half of his agency’s law enforcement personnel are military veterans so the Wreaths Across America mission is a personal one.
“We’re honored to employ veterans because they have a personality and training background that suits the job well,” Sheriff-Elect Carroll explains. “They’re reliable and able to handle tough situations, and we don’t show enough appreciation for their service to this nation.”
Sheriff-Elect Carroll says they try to share the opportunity for Deputies and staff to participate in the wreath-laying ceremonies each year and the individual departments that make up the Maine Sheriff’s Association do provide the Annual Wreath Escort to Arlington National Cemetery with security, complete with sirens and flashing lights, as it travels through Maine and down the eastern seaboard toward Virginia.
This video produced in 2016 highlights some of the Maine Sheriff Association’s involvement with Wreaths Across America. You can also hear more for our interview with Sheriff-Elect Carroll on Wreaths Across America Radio.