Arlington National Cemetery welcomed about 40,000 volunteers Saturday to participate in Wreaths Across America, a somber and beautiful holiday tradition of laying wreaths at the graves of service members.
Wreaths Across America will bring volunteers to 3,100 cemeteries in a nationwide effort to honor fallen veterans and soldiers during the holidays.
More than 150,000 wreaths were set to be placed at the United States' largest military cemetery in Virginia, an effort to individually recognize those who served and many who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Photos: Volunteers Lay 150K Wreaths to Honor Service Members in Arlington National Cemetery
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Volunteers streamed into the cemetery and quickly dotted the sea of white headstones with holiday wreaths.
“It fills my heart to see so many children, especially,” Karen Worcester, Wreaths Across America executive director and co-founder, said. “The best way to teach your kids to love this country is to teach them about the men and women who served.”
Volunteers are asked to say every service member’s name out loud when placing a wreath, Worcester said.
Wreaths Across America was founded in 2007, but the wreath-laying tradition at Arlington National Cemetery has been going on for three decades.
You must register and follow entry procedures if you would like to participate.
The event will be back in near-full force after Arlington National Cemetery nearly scuttled it last year due to the pandemic. Ultimately, small groups were invited to come place wreaths.