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Wreaths Across America convoy stops for ceremony in Portland Tuesday afternoon

One of the people featured in the ceremony was Cindy Tatum, a Gold Star mother from Tennessee who lost her son, Daniel, to service on December 24, 2007.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Wreaths Across America convoy stopped for a ceremony in Portland Tuesday afternoon as it makes its journey to Arlington National Cemetery. The convoy arrived at the Portland Ocean Terminal/Ocean Gateway Complex around 3:15 p.m.

One semi truck carrying the wreaths was escorted by law enforcement and they drove into the complex under a suspended flag held by two fire trucks.

The ceremony started at 3:30 p.m. with speakers, a presentation of wreaths, singing of the National Anthem and God Bless America, and a Quilts of Valor presentation. The Portland Fire Department and Portland Police Department honor guards were also there, as well as bagpipers.

One of the people who was featured in the ceremony is Cindy Tatum, a Gold Star mother from Tennessee who lost her son, Daniel, to service on December 24, 2007. Tatum says her family received the knowing knock on their door with the news Christmas Day morning -- which is why she's so moved by all that Wreaths Across America does for families.

"There's just something about the fact that Daniel passed away at Christmas time and the fact that they honor and memorialize, really, our fallen heroes at that time of year," Tatum noted.

Tatum is the national president of the American Gold Star Mothers -- and she is also the 2020 escort grand marshal for WAA. It's something she says she is very excited to do.

"It's all going to be a wonderful, wonderful journey," Tatum smiled.

RELATED: 'Our knock on the door came on Christmas morning' -- Gold Star mother leads Wreaths Across America convoy

The convoy began its trip from Columbia Falls Tuesday morning. The trip almost didn't happen this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few changes have been made so the mission to lay wreaths on the headstones of fallen veterans can be carried out safely. 

Those looking to volunteer and place wreaths at cemetery's this year are asked to got to wreathsacrossamerica.org 

"Every cemetery is going to be a little bit different. We just encourage you to look before you go and we ask that you please respect the guidelines that have been put out," Amber Caron, the communications director of Wreaths Across America told NEWS CENTER Maine. 

Folks at home can follow the convoy's journey to Arlington National Cemetery on the Wreaths Across America Facebook page

RELATED: Wreaths Across America ready for its journey to Arlington National Cemetery

The organization released their modified itinerary, including stops in just Columbia, Winslow and Portland this year.

Tuesday, December 15

9:00AM Coastal Washington County Institute of Technology

12 Addison Rd., Columbia, ME 04330

10:00AM Parade through downtown Ellsworth, ME

12:45PM Arrive at Central Maine Veterans’ Memorial Park

Roderick Rd, Winslow, ME 04901

3:15PM – Arrive at Ocean Gateway, Portland ME

14 Ocean Gateway Pier, Portland, ME 04101

Wednesday, December 16

8:00AM Leave Portland (295, 95, off in Saco, Route 1 South, a small detour through York Village)

10:10AM Arrive at MA State Line

12:30PM Parade through portion of Worcester, MA

3:30PM Arrives at Regal Cinemas, Branford, CT

325 E. Main St. Branford, CT 

7:30PM Cross The George Washington Bridge

Thursday, December 17

9:45AM Arrive at Vietnam Veterans’ Museum, Holmdel, NJ

1 Memorial Ln, Holmdel, NJ 07733 

1:30PM Arrive at Holy Rosary Church (The Guardian of the Defenders Memorial) 

3200 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, DE 19703

3:30PM Arrive at Whitehall Village -801 Mapleton Ave., Middletown, DE 19709

6:00PM Arrive at American Legion Post 278 Kent Island -800 Romancoke Rd, Stevensville, MD 21666

Friday, December 18

National Mall Memorials - TBD

Virtual Event 6:30-8:30PM – Watch LIVE on Wreaths Across America Official Facebook Page

Saturday, December 19 

National Wreaths Across America Day LIVE Virtual Event at 12PM on Facebook


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