• Madeline Bohan, 11, picks up holiday wreaths that adorned tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Jan. 26, 2013. About 3,000 volunteers showed up at the cemetery to help clean up leftover wreaths from the holidays.

    Volunteers clean up wreaths at ANC

    Madeline Bohan, 11, picks up holiday wreaths that adorned tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Jan. 26, 2013. About 3,000 volunteers showed up at the cemetery to help clean up leftover wreaths from the holidays.

  • Soldiers use a clever method to carry holiday wreaths from gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Jan. 26, 2013. About 3,000 volunteers showed up to help clean up the cemetery.

    Volunteers clean up wreaths at ANC

    Soldiers use a clever method to carry holiday wreaths from gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Jan. 26, 2013. About 3,000 volunteers showed up to help clean up the cemetery.

ARLINGTON, Va. (Jan. 30, 2013) -- An estimated 3,000 volunteers showed up to Arlington National Cemetery Saturday morning to help clean up holiday wreaths which adorned gravesites for almost six weeks.

About 110,000 wreaths were placed on gravesites Dec. 15 as part of the Wreaths Across America program. An estimated 27,000 people showed up at the cemetery that morning to lay wreaths on the burial sites of veterans and their spouses.

The annual tradition began two decades ago, when Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, found he had a surplus of wreaths and thought it fitting to donate extras to veterans buried in the cemetery.

Every year, the number of wreaths donated to the cemetery grows, along with the number of volunteers that help place them.

Page last updated Thu January 31st, 2013 at 06:54