On a rainy Saturday, Arlington National Cemetery honors soldiers with wreaths: Photo of the Day 12/16/18


Emily Webb

Wreaths are distributed to volunteers who place them on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery.

by Emily Webb, Editor

On Saturday, December 15, Arlington National Cemetery held Wreaths Across America, a non-profit initiative dedicated to remembering, honoring, and teaching our country about America’s fallen heroes.

The organization’s annual pilgrimage of bringing wreaths from Harrington, Maine to Arlington, Virginia is considered the largest veteran’s parade in America. The trucks filled with wreaths leave Maine on December 8 and parade down to Arlington, making stops in cemeteries and schools along the way. When the trucks arrive at Arlington, they park throughout the cemetery, ready to unload and distribute wreaths to the volunteers. Wreaths were handed out two at a time to volunteers who then placed them on each of over 400,000 graves in the cemetery. 

The Wreaths Across America purpose is clear. “Our service members sacrifice their time and safety every single day of the year to preserve our freedoms. There is no better time to express our appreciation than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.”

Ms. Kimberly Hunley, the technology coordinator, attended the event this year with her family. “It was really touching for me. I have a history of military in my family: my grandparents were in World War II and both my father and my stepfather served in the Vietnam War. My son is also currently enlisted. This year was my first year volunteering, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I really enjoyed it. I hope it becomes a tradition for my family.”

Emily Webb
Wreaths are placed on each grave in the cemetery.

The initiative was started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester and went on without publicity until 2005 when an image of the graves covered in snow and wreaths went viral on the internet. Ever since, the event has been recognized nationwide and has grown exponentially in size.

“It’s amazing to see all the volunteers and how much of an impact this event has on people. It’s really cool to be part of it,” said sophomore Jordan Webb, who volunteered at the event.

The event happens annually on the second or third Saturday of December. Since its conception, it has spread to over 1,400 locations across the world. To get more information about their mission, locations, and how to get involved, visit their website.