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Volunteers Lay 90K Wreaths At Arlington Cemetery

Volunteer Pati Redmond of Frederick, Md., helps to lay holiday wreaths over the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
Volunteer Pati Redmond of Frederick, Md., helps to lay holiday wreaths over the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.

Thousands of wreaths were laid around the country Saturday and at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the 20th anniversary of an effort honoring the nation's veterans for their service.

The pristine white tombstones at Arlington were dotted with bright green holiday wreaths and big red bows. Wreaths Across America executive director Karen Worcester says volunteers laid nearly 90,000 wreaths in a little over an hour.

"We had a tremendous crowd," Worcester said. "They're telling me we had close to 20,000 [people]."

Worcester said a convoy of 85 volunteer trucks, plus buses and cars with veterans and families of fallen soldiers, left Maine last Sunday. Many made stops across the country on their way to the cemetery to remind people of "how very fragile and precious and what a price was paid for our freedom."

In addition to Arlington and other sites, volunteers also laid wreaths at the Pentagon, Battery Park in New York and at memorials for the Vietnam and Korean wars.

The wreaths will be on view until Jan. 28.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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