Last Saturday, December 13th, people gathered at graveyards all across this country to lay Christmas wreaths on the graves of American veterans. This tradition began 15 years ago when a Maine business, Worcester Wreath Company, began laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. Since then, Worcester Wreaths has donated 90,000 wreaths for placement each December.
As word spread, people and communities got involved to expand the program across the country. Last year more than 35,000 wreaths were placed at 286 cemeteries. This year they expect to lay 100,000 wreaths at 350 locations. Last year a non-profit organization called Wreaths Across America was formed to support the effort. Visit the Wreaths Across America site to learn more about this program and how you can get involved.
Here at the St. Augustine National Cemetery, you’ll find seven wreaths posted on stands. There is a wreath for each branch of service – Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine – and in the center is a wreath representing POW/MIA. The remaining wreaths are scattered around the grounds. These photos show a representative sample.
UPDATE: The Army has posted some photos from Saturday’s event at Arlington on Flickr.