11 December 2011

Wreath-laying at Arlington

Volunteer Pati Redmond of Frederick, Md., helps to lay holiday wreaths over the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington Saturday Dec. 10, 2011, during Wreaths Across America Day. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Volunteers lay 90K wreaths at Arlington cemetery

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Volunteers have laid tens of thousands of holiday wreaths at tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage joined thousands of volunteers Saturday in placing the wreaths. A convoy of more than 20 trucks left Maine last Sunday, bound for the cemetery across from the nation's capital.

The tradition began 20 years ago with little fanfare. Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine, and others laid 5,000 wreaths on headstones that first year to give thanks to the nation's veterans.

Since then, it has grown into an organization called Wreaths Across America with ceremonies across the country.

Organizers said 15,000 people joined the effort at Arlington. The wreaths will be on view until Jan. 28.

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