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Wreaths In America, attracts thousands of volunteers to Arlington National Cemetery

Wreaths rest against headstones at Arlington National Cemetery, such as Whorls In America places remembrance wreaths on gravestones at the cemetery in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Thousands of volunteers traveled to Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday to help with the annual holiday wreath laying.

Despite the fear that the cemetery would not achieve its annual goal, this year the large crowd of more than 245,000 wreaths on the gravesites of AMERICAN service members, WTOP-FM reported.

As the wreaths were laid, the names of the fallen service members were read aloud.

“There are 25 funerals at the Arlington National Cemetery every day, so the need grows each year,” said Bree Kingsbury with Wreaths across America. “A wreath is really a symbol of honor and respect for each fallen service member.”

“There are 25 funerals at the Arlington National Cemetery every day, so the need grows every year. A wreath is really a symbol of honor and respect for each fallen service member.”

– Bree Kingsbury, Wreaths In America

Wreaths In America is a non-profit, which also places wreaths at more than 1500 other cemeteries in the entire country.

The Wreaths In America caravan traveled earlier this month from Columbia Falls, Maine, where the wreaths were made. The caravan went through several states before arriving in Arlington, Va.

The Arlington event is already 26 years old, in honor of the men and women who have served in the U.S. army.

This year’s grand marshals are Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient Roger Donlon and his wife Norma Donlon.

The tradition began when a Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester donated 5,000 wreaths to Arlington Cemetery. A total of 1.2 million wreaths will be placed on the markers in the entire country in 1,238 locations.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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