Tags: Arlington cemetery | veterans | wreaths | america

Goal for Arlington's 150th Year: Wreath for Every Vet's Grave

By    |   Tuesday, 11 November 2014 08:37 AM

As many as 25,000 volunteers are expected to lay wreaths at every one of the 235,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery, The Washington Times reported.

The wreath-laying ceremony is being organized by the Wreaths Across America foundation and will take place on Dec. 13, the 150th anniversary of the Virginia site.

The foundation began its work at Arlington in 1992 when Morrill Worcester, who owns the Worcester Wreath Co. in Columbia Falls, Maine, ended the Christmas season with extra supplies.

His first trip to the cemetery when he was 12 years old had left a lasting impression.

Worcester decided he wanted to "give back" and honor those who fought for the country's freedom, so he donated the remaining wreaths. Over the years, the project expanded as more people got involved donating their time and services.

Both those who volunteer and the loved ones of those interred at Arlington say they find the wreath laying project meaningful. By 2012 the volunteers had presented their 1 millionth wreath to the mother of an Army officer killed in Afghanistan, according to the Times.

"Someday, when the words and his name are all worn off, there still will be someone who will come by and pay their respects in my son's memory," said Ruth Stonesifer, whose son died in October 2001 during Operation Enduring Freedom.

It took 20,000 volunteers three hours to lay wreaths at about 143,000 graves in 2013.

Information for those who want to volunteer at Arlington or at cemeteries in their local area is available on the foundation's website.

Worcester said that no one who served or died for their country should be forgotten and that the wreaths reflect an expression of gratitude, according to the foundation's website.

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As many as 25,000 volunteers are expected to lay wreaths at every one of the 235,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery, which turns 150 in December.
Arlington cemetery, veterans, wreaths, america
288
2014-37-11
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 08:37 AM
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