Volunteers lay 100K wreaths at Arlington cemetery

AP
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Volunteers pauses over the grave of a fallen soldier after laying a holiday wreaths, during Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington Cemetery on Saturday Dec. 10, 2011. wld,(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Volunteers are beginning a massive wreath-laying effort to honor tens of thousands of veterans buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

A convoy of more than 20 trucks left Maine last Sunday, bound for the cemetery just across the Potomac River from the nation's capital. On Saturday, they plan to place as many as 100,000 wreaths on gravesites at Arlington.

The tradition began 20 years ago with little fanfare. Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine, and others laid 5,000 wreaths on headstones that first year to give thanks to the nation's veterans.

Since then, it has grown into an organization called Wreaths Across America with ceremonies across the country.

Organizers say 10,000 people may join Saturday's wreath laying at Arlington.