Wreaths Across America 2012 at Arlington National Cemetery
ARLINGTON, Va. — What began as a goodwill gesture by a Maine businessman who found himself with a surplus of Christmas wreaths two decades ago continued its annual growth trend Saturday when 20,000 volunteers took part in the Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery.
Merrill Worcester, owner of the Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Me., marked a special milestone Saturday by presenting the program's one millionth wreath to Gold Star mother Mary Byers, whose son, Army Capt. Joshua Byers, was killed in Afghanistan in 2003. Byers, her husband, Lloyd, and Army Sgt. Justin Lansford — who was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in April — later placed it at the grave of Vietnam veteran Wilbur Tresvant in Arlington's Section 60.
Also joining in the placing of wreaths were Maine Gov. Paul LePage and his wife, Ann.
According to cemetery officials, the volunteers placed 110,000 wreaths at Arlington on Saturday. Similar events were held at cemeteries across the country.