‘Breathtaking’: Wreaths Across America volunteers honor service members at Arlington

A volunteer places a wreath in front of a headstone at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 14. (WTOP/Melissa Howell )
A wreath adorns the grave of a serviceman buried at Arlington National Cemetery. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
In total, over 250,000 wreaths were laid during this year’s event. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Volunteers carry wreaths out to the graves of service men and women buried at Arlington National Cemetery. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Volunteers place wreaths in front of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 14. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
People from all over the country donate to Wreaths Across America to cover the costs of placing so many wreaths. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Thousands of volunteers turned out to Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 14 to lay wreaths at the final resting places of hundreds of thousands of American veterans. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

An annual tradition to honor servicemen and women brought thousands of volunteers together at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday.

Wreaths Across America, started in 1992, honors service members interred at Arlington by inviting volunteers to place wreaths decorated with bows on their graves. In all, 253,000 wreaths were set out throughout the cemetery. The name of each soldier was also read aloud.

Among the volunteers was Meredith Creswell, who traveled with friends from Maine to participate. She also helped raised money for the event.

“I wanted to come experience it myself. This is my first time so it’s just breathtaking,” she said.

The mission of the event is to honor, remember and teach others about the importance of the sacrifices made by the service members buried at the cemetery.

Boy Scout Troop 1313 from Reston, Virginia, also came to pay a special tribute. Jake Price and Reid Schryer both have grandparents here and were excited to lay wreaths alongside their fellow scouts.

“It’s good to see the massive turnout and how many people care,” Price said.

For Schryer, it’s a reflective moment to remember the men and women now resting at Arlington National.

“I just hope that everyone has a special moment with a soldier,” Schryer said.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up