This Saturday, tens of thousands of volunteers across the country honored our fallen veterans by placing wreaths at their graves. Altogether, almost 1 million wreaths were placed at 1,100 locations nationwide — but the biggest event was, as always, at Arlington National Cemetery, our nation’s most sacred shrine.
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Over 70,000 volunteers placed wreaths on every one of the 240,815 headstones at Arlington. No headstone was left unadorned, thanks to a massive outpouring of support after a last-minute appeal for help to get each grave honored. Every wreath is donated, and as the wreath is laid at the veteran’s grave, the volunteer says their name out loud, so that their name will never die.
The ceremony at Arlington began on Saturday with a mile-long convoy of vehicles carrying wreaths, veterans, Gold Star families, and supporters. The convoy started in Maine and traveled to Arlington National Cemetery, stopping at schools and memorials along the way to educate, and to honor the memories of the fallen. The Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”, played, and the Army Joint Color Guard did the presentation of the colors. Wreaths Across America chairman Wayne Hanson spoke, and country singer Trace Adkins performed the song “Arlington.”