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Arlington National Cemetery Wreaths: Donors Rally So Every Grave Gets One

Arlington National Cemetery Wreaths: Donors Rally So Every Grave Gets One

A young volunteer places a wreath during the 2015 National Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery Dec. 12, 2015, in Arlington, Virginia. (Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 December 2016 06:15 AM

All 245,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery will be adorned with a wreath this year thanks to generous donors including Boy and Girl Scout troops, sports teams, and a 4-H club.

The nonprofit group Wreaths Across America was short about 60,000 wreaths two weeks ago, People reported, but last-minute donations ensured every grave would be honored in the yearly tradition.

More than 44,000 volunteers showed up to lay the wreaths Saturday morning even though the weather was less than ideal.

“To see all these people come together, from all walks of life, with different opinions and politics and religions, in the cold and freezing rain, to join us here and across the country to say thank you to our veterans, proves we aren’t all that different,” Wreaths Across America Executive Director Karen Worcester told People. “We’re all grateful Americans.”

Last year, more than 70,000 volunteers laid the wreaths in a ceremony that involves speaking the name on each grave as the wreath is laid.

A total of 1.2 million wreaths were laid at 1,228 locations in similar events nationwide.

“It goes to show how deeply patriotic this country is,” volunteer and Army Sergeant Chad Longell told People. “We’re one country here, remembering those who gave everything so that we can have everything. That’s why I come out here.”

“I must confess that it was a deep emotional moment for me just to see the vast cemetery for the first time,” Manassas, Virginia, resident Scott Hammack told People. “Those men and women served our nation, and from a guy whose dream was to serve, but cannot come true for various reasons, it is the least I can do to show respect for those long from this Earth.”

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All 245,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery will be adorned with a wreath this year thanks to generous donors including Boy and Girl Scout troops, sports teams, and a 4-H club.
arlington national cemetery, wreaths, every, grave
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2016-15-21
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 06:15 AM
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