Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wreaths Across America

I recently volunteered with Wreaths Across America where I placed wreaths on the graves at Arlington Cemetery. I found out about the opportunity through work and there were roughly 90 people from my company. This is the 20th year that WWA has been laying wreaths across their 600+ locations. I brought my dad and my boyfriend, and even some of his family (!) to help out.

A little about WWA:
Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester, in 1992. Our mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies on the second Saturday of December at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
You can sponsor a wreath for $15 or donate any dollar amount here. This year was a bit chaotic and uncoordinated (from the feedback I heard) because this is the first year they let people place wreaths anywhere in the cemetery. Before, there were designated areas blocked off for the wreaths and the trucks, obviously, stayed around there. This year, trucks were dispersed all around the cemetery so after the opening ceremony in the amphitheater, everyone was in one area and headed to similar trucks and there were long lines and the wreaths ran out. One of my colleages later said that they walked further out and after about an hour of walking was able to find a truck that still had wreaths and everyone was able to contribute. Of course, the metro was single tracking on the blue line that morning (the only line into the cemetery) so people from my company we were all supposed to meet at the visitors center, but that didn't happen. Oh well, we still got to be a part of a really unique and special event!

All of the wreaths were brought in huge 18 wheelers

There were so many volunteers and not enough wreaths that a lot
of people only got a few wreaths to place on graves

I learned that you place rocks on Jewish graves as a way
to show that you have come to pay your respects.

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