ARLINGTON, Va. - With the holiday season in full force, volunteers are needed to place wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery for an annual event held every December to honor our nation's fallen veterans.
The organization Wreaths Across America is looking for people to join them on National Wreaths Across America Day to place 246,700 wreaths on all headstones and markers at the Arlington, Virginia cemetery. This year, it will be held on Saturday, Dec. 15.
A convoy of tractor trailers carrying more than 250,000 balsam wreaths will be leaving from Maine on Dec. 8 for the weeklong voyage to Virginia, with stops at memorials and schools along the journey.
More than 75,000 volunteers gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to take part in last year's event. In total, more than 1.5 million remembrance wreaths were placed at more than 1,400 other locations across the country last December.
This will be the 27th year that wreaths will be placed at Arlington National Cemetery - a tradition that dates back to 1992. It began when Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester donated 5,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery.
"We understand we have Veterans Day in the fall and Memorial Day in the spring, but our service members sacrifice their time and safety every single day of the year to preserve our freedoms," Wreaths Across America wrote on its website. "In many homes, there is an empty seat for one who is serving or one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. There is no better time to express our appreciation than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. We hope you will join us at any of our more than 1,400 participating locations to show our veterans and their families that we will not forget. We will never forget."
In addition to volunteering, the non-profit group also seeks donors to help raise money for the wreaths. The cost to sponsor a veteran's wreath is $15.
For more information on how to volunteer or donate, go to wreathsacrossamerica.org