Vets honored with Christmas wreaths at 900 cemeteries

More than 200,000 Christmas wreaths are being laid Saturday at headstones of US veterans at Arlington National Cemetery and other cemeteries around the US. 

Hundreds of volunteers are expected at Arlington National Cemetery to lay more than 200,000 wreaths at headstones throughout the grounds.

Organizer of the annual Wreaths Across America event will be at the cemetery Saturday in an effort to lay a wreath at every grave marker in the cemetery.

Arlington officials are recommending that volunteers who want to help lay wreaths take Metro to the cemetery and wear comfortable walking shoes.

A ceremony connected to event is planned for 9 a.m. A wreath will be laid at President Kennedy's tomb at 11 a.m., and at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at noon.

Similar wreath-laying ceremonies are taking place Saturday at more than 900 locations around the US. About 540,000 wreaths were placed last year.

For example, a wreath-laying ceremony is being held at Rhode Island's veterans cemetery to honor current service members, veterans and those who were killed while serving.

The ceremony is taking place at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter on Saturday and will coincide with other events across the country. It begins with a moment of silence at noon. Wreaths will then be laid on the gravesites of veterans recently killed in action. Every branch of the service will be represented.

In Sumter, S.C., t he Sumter squadron of the Civil Air Patrol is holding a ceremony to help honor veterans who have passed away by placing holiday wreaths at cemeteries across the country.

And more than 5,300 wreaths are set to be placed on individual grave sites at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.

Members of the Bismarck Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol are leading the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony.

The wreaths being laid at Arlington National Cemetary arrived via a convoy from Maine. The truckloads of wreaths were escorted by Patriot Guard Riders when they left Worcester Wreath Co. last weekend. One of the riders was Maine First Lady Ann LePage, who made the entire trip on the back of a three-wheeled motorcycle.

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