For almost a quarter of a century now, wreaths are laid upon the gravestones of fallen American military personnel every December at U.S. military cemeteries. This year, over 25,000 volunteers traveled to Arlington Nation Cemetery on Dec. 12 to lay wreaths upon nearly 230,000 grave markers – and trucking companies, under the auspices of Wreaths Across America, helped deliver them to this hallowed ground.
Located on the Virginia side of the Potomac River not far from the nation’s capital, Arlington National Cemetery encompasses 624 acres and conducts between 27 and 30 funeral services each week day, along with six to eight funeral services on Saturday, and is under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army. Originally, the grounds of the cemetery belonged to the wife of Robert E. Lee until confiscated by the federal government during the Civil War. Upon the authority of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army, the Arlington grounds became a military cemetery on June 15, 1864, and remains so to this day. (Photos courtesy of Rachel Larue/U.S. Army and TL carrier Schneider)