This year was no different. See photos from Alaska to Arlington, Va. of volunteers honoring fallen service members during the holidays.
Wreaths Across America all started with a wreath farm in Maine and the Worcester family.
"It's giving us too much credit to say that we actually developed it," said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.
"It came to be in 1992," Worcester said. "Our family had been in the wreath business forever. We had a surplus of wreaths that year, and my husband recalled a trip that he had won as a twelve-year-old paper boy to Arlington National Cemetery. Being a very patriotic man and very grateful for all that our family had, he thought it would be a nice way for our family to say thank you if he could take some of those surplus wreaths down to Arlington and place them on the graves of veterans."
It took some phone calls to get permission, but the Worcester's got permission to take 5,000 wreaths to place on graves at Arlington National Cemetery that year.
Today, it's 1.5 million wreaths, 2 million volunteers, and a global operation. For the first time, Wreaths Across America got permission to lay wreaths at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial.
“From the beginning, the goal for Wreaths Across America was to one day honor and remember all those who served and sacrificed for our freedoms, no matter where they are buried,” said Wayne Hanson, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Wreaths Across America. “To have the honor to remember these soldiers at their final resting place and say each of their names so their memory lives on is something we all take immense pride in and will carry out with the utmost respect and dignity deserved.”