Patriotic volunteers for the nonprofit organization Wreaths Across America have begun the time-consuming task of placing wreaths on every U.S. veterans’ grave.
Statistics show that Arlington National Cemetery — the country’s largest military cemetery — has more than 400,000 graves. Every year, it conducts around 6,900 new burials. Wreaths Across America seeks to remember and memorialize the brave men and women who’ve given so much to preserve our freedom and way of life. On National Wreaths Across America Day, the organization and its team of volunteers place wreaths throughout Arlington National Cemetery as well as an additional 1,200 cemeteries where U.S. veterans are buried.
This year’s National Wreaths Across America Day is being led by Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient Col. Roger Donlon. who is a retired member of the U.S. Army Special Forces. As explained by WGME News, the organization has nearly a dozen tractor trailers loaded with wreaths that are ready to be placed on veterans’ tombstones in Arlington National Cemetery. Wreaths Across America’s convoy is expected to travel through Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland and D.C., after which it will conclude with a larger ceremony in Arlington, Virginia.
The wreath-placing tradition began many years ago when wreath-maker Morrill Worcester donated 5,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. In the years to follow, it’s become customary for individuals to place wreaths at veterans’ tombstones. Now, there’s even an organization dedicated to the tradition: Wreaths Across America.
“We encourage every volunteer who places a wreath on a veteran’s grave to say that veteran’s name aloud and take a moment to thank them for their service to our country. It’s a small act that goes a long way toward keeping the memory of our veterans alive,” wrote Wreaths Across America on their official website.
If you want to show your appreciation to the countless men and women who’ve served in our nation’s armed forces, you can volunteer for Wreaths Across America. Alternatively, you can donate to the organization so they’ll have additional funds to purchase the wreaths needed for this massive project. According to the company’s website, $0.86 of every dollar donated goes towards sponsoring wreaths. Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your money donated is being used for the right reasons.
National Wreaths Across American Day will take place on December 16. The organization says it expects more than 1.2 million wreaths to be placed on tombstones.
You can learn more about Wreaths Across America, including how to donate or volunteer, by visiting http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/#join-us.