TOGUS – The Togus National Cemetery will be a busy place Saturday.

As wreaths are being laid on the graves, the Augusta post office will offer special commemorative postmarks.

The wreath-laying is part of the national Wreaths Across America Day. The Patriot Guard Riders will bring the balsam wreaths to decorate the graves just as they are taking them in a convoy to the decorate the graves at Arlington National Cemetery.

All the wreaths are made in Maine and donated by Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington.

This is Worcester’s 20th year of donating wreaths, according to a joint release from the offices of U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

The first veteran was buried in the Togus National Cemetery in 1867, and the last veteran burial there was in 1961, according to Department of Veterans Affairs records. It has an east and west section and covers 31 acres.

Other veterans cemeteries across the country and world will receive wreaths as well. Last year, wreaths were placed in more than 520 locations, the senators said.

The Patriot Guard motorcyclists will continue a tradition by escorting the tractor-trailers of wreaths from Harrington to Arlington.

“Because of the generosity of spirit and goodwill of hundreds of dedicated volunteers, this year an estimated 400,000 wreaths will be placed with solemn reverence at the base of the tombstones of veterans in all 50 states,” the senators said in the joint statement.

The pictorial postmark is designed to commemorate the wreath-laying.

Augusta Postmaster Dale Nunn will stamp letters and postcards with a unique postmark documenting the historic event.

Customers can request the special postmark by mail for 30 days after the event by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope containing the letter or envelope they wish to be canceled to Postmaster, 40 Western Ave., Augusta, ME 04330-9998.

“We will be happy to cancel and mail back any letters that our customers mail in,” Nunn said in a prepared statement from the U.S. Postal Service. “Customers may also bring in their own envelopes to obtain a postmark that they can take home as a keepsake.”


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