Wreaths laid at Arlington National Cemetery

Last minute donations came in to save the wreath laying program this year. Photo: Wreath laying at Arlington Cemetery/ AP

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2013 —Volunteers placed more than 143,000 wreaths on the graves of veterans in Arlington National cemetery on December 14, 2013.

Wreaths Across America started in 1992 when Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine found himself with extra wreaths and decided to honor the country’s veterans and place wreaths on graves in the older section of Arlington Cemetery where few visitors visited.

In 2005 after a beautiful photo of the wreaths covered in snow started circulation on the internet and with it brought attention to the project. Along with the additional attention came requests for wreaths for other National and State cemeteries.

This year due to a drop in donations it looked like many of the grave sites were going to go without wreaths.

Each wreath cost $15 to make and a call for donations went out through the Wreaths Across America website.

Two weeks ago there were only enough donations for 95,000 wreaths, well short of the goal of 135,000 but along with the press coverage of the shortage came a rush of late donations allowing the goal to not only be met but surpassed.

25,000 people came out into the cold to place the wreaths on December 14.

Wreaths Across America is still asking for donation which will go toward the 2014 wreath placement. Each $15 donation will place a wreath next Christmas on a veteran’s grave.


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Susan L Ruth

Susan L. Ruth is a long-time Washington, DC resident with extensive ties throughout the community.  She is a genealogical researcher and writer, and is an active volunteer in the Northern Virginia competitive swimming community.  Susan previously worked providing life-skills to head injured adults. 

Susan and her husband Kerry currently live in Northern Virginia with their three sons, Ryley, Casey and Jack and their American Bulldog, Leila.


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