Craig Gross of Tarpon Springs, Fla., plays a song at his son’s gravesite during the Dec. 16 Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery. CPL Frank R. Gross was killed by an IED while on patrol in Afghanistan on July 16, 2011.
Photo by Mark Mogle/The Connection
More than 65,000 volunteers from across the nation braved the freezing temperatures to participate in Wreaths Across America Dec. 16 at Arlington National Cemetery, marking the 26th year for the annual ritual of placing wreaths at the headstones of America’s veterans.
The annual event, founded by Maine wreath-maker Morrill Worcester, honors those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. A total of 245,000 wreaths were placed in Arlington National Cemetery with 1.2 million wreaths placed on markers across the country in 1,238 locations.
A Wreaths Across America caravan traveled to Arlington from Columbia Falls, Maine, where the wreaths were made. Ceremonies were held at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the gravesite of President John F. Kennedy. Funding for the wreaths is provided by corporate and individual donations.