National Wreaths Across America Day took place Saturday, Dec. 18, at 3,136 participating veterans' cemeteries across the country.
America's heroes were remembered as each name was said aloud and honored as more than 525 truckloads of wreaths were delivered by 390 different carriers. More than two million volunteers, a third of whom were children, helped placed more than 2.4 million veterans' wreaths on headstones across the country.
At Arlington National Cemetery specifically, the Wreaths Across America program saw 66 tractor-trailers deliver more than 250,000 veterans' wreaths that were placed by nearly 38,000 volunteers.
This was the 30th year that veterans' wreaths have been placed there, a tradition started by Maine wreathmaker Morrill Worcester as a gift of thanks. As he has each December since 1992, Worcester himself again made the trek to Arlington this year to place wreaths.
"When I brought down those 5,000 wreaths that first year, I just thought it was a way for me to say thank you, for what we have in this country," said Worcester, Founder of Wreaths Across America. "I could have never imagined it would strike a chord like it has and make such an impact. Me and my family continue to be humbled by the support this program receives across the country."
Wreaths Across America offered thanks to the communities, volunteers, sponsors, truck drivers, local officials, and more for their roles in this year’s event.
Each live balsam wreath was a gift of respect and appreciation, sponsored by an individual or organization and placed on a headstone by volunteers as a small gesture of gratitude for the freedoms Americans enjoy.
Wreaths Across America believes the tradition represents a living memorial that honors veterans, active-duty military, and their families. When each wreath is placed, the servicemember's name is said out loud, ensuring their memory lives on.
Next year's National Wreaths Across America Day will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022.