Wreaths Across Canada Inc. is a non-profit organization started in 2007 by Craig McPhee, a veteran of the Canadian Forces. It is based on the Wreaths Across America organization that started in 1992 at Arlington Cemetery and has now spread to 300 military cemeteries in the United States. After a visit to Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC, McPhee was moved by how American servicemen and women are honoured each December by the placing of a wreath at the base of headstones. Wreaths Across America is the organization responsible for the annual commemoration. After three years of hard work to gain support and approval, McPhee’s dream of creating an organization to honour deceased Canadian veterans was been fulfilled. Wreaths Across Canada Inc., is a registered Canadian Charitable Corporation with a Board of Directors. WOC mission is to remember the contributions of Canadian military personnel who lie in military cemeteries across Canada. Their objective, to honour those who served in Canada in war and in peace as members of our military forces, and to teach Canadians, particularly Canadian youth, the value of sacrifice paid for the preservation of freedom and democracy in Canada.
In 2011, the inaugural National Service of Remembrance took place at the National Military Cemetery, which is located at the Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.
To date, nearly 30,000 wreaths have been laid on Canadian military graves. “This is important to more than just veterans. It’s important to all the lives they have touched,” commented Larabie.
In 2019, Christmas Wreaths Across Canada has had to temporarily cancel some of their Services of Remembrance.
“Unfortunately, we have been overwhelmed with financial issues this past year, illness amongst our Board of Directors and several vacant Board positions which have necessitated this cancellation,” Wreaths Across Canada stated.
In 2021, a new group of board members have formed to continue on with Craig’s vision of placing a wreath on every military grave.