Wreaths Across America at Arlington National

I spent a memorable morning yesterday participating in the annual Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery with members of my DAR chapter. This was the first time I’d gone and I was amazed at how many people came. (There were about 75,000 people there, by one estimation!)

We arrived at 8:30, plenty of time to wander around a bit and appreciate the solemn beauty of this special place.

IMG_6036

About 9:00, the semis carrying the wreaths down to Virginia from Maine began to arrive. (I lost count of how many pulled into the cemetery!)

IMG_6046

For some of the trucks, this is obviously very personal and a way to commemorate loved ones lost.

IMG_6048

IMG_6054

The opening ceremony at the McLellan Arch is brief. A color guard brings in the national colors and the flags of all the branches of service, with battle ribbons, for the national anthem.

IMG_6057

After a nondenominational prayer, a hymn sung by Trace Adkins, and brief but heartfelt comments by the guest marshall, we all made our way to the various locations in the cemetery where wreaths were being distributed.

And then everyone began laying wreaths, from young children to older volunteers.

IMG_6067

IMG_6087

My group went to Section 1, one of the older parts of the cemetery. This is also the location of the Lockerbie cairn, commemorating those who perished in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103. (One of the Daughters in my DAR chapter flew to London to assist in getting personal belongings back to the families, so this was special for her.)

IMG_6096

And then, almost before we knew it, the headstones were all adorned with wreaths. It was beautiful.

IMG_6142

IMG_6135

IMG_6155

A very special day, one with much meaning for all who were there. The evergreen wreaths symbolize life, love, and remembrance. For the volunteers, it was a way to honor and respect those who have served, especially those who lost their lives in that service.

IMG_1242

It was an honor to be there. I’ll be back next year.

#wreathsacrossamerica

#arlingtonnationalcemetery

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under General

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s