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Thousands place wreaths, honor veterans at Arlington National Cemetery

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - 12/17/2017

Dec. 17--About 75,000 volunteers fanned out across Arlington National Cemetery Saturday to place wreaths at gravesites, honoring veterans as part of the annual Wreaths Across America Day.

The organization honors fallen military service members across the United States with wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,300 other locations. This year's theme was "I'm an American. Yes, I am!" and focused on "the celebration of differences, seeking to build bridges," according to a statement from Wreaths Across America.

In Dec. 2016, 1.2 million wreaths were placed on the headstones at more than 1,230 cemeteries around the country.

Those with ties to Western Pennsylvania got involved down in Arlington and close to home.

Among the thousands of wreaths displayed at Arlington National Cemetery were two designed by Greensburg native Kathleen (Miller) Thornton, now a resident of Lowgap, N.C., who works as a part-time designer at L&H Enterprises.

Earlier this month, the Pittsburgh Steelers donated $20,000 to Wreaths Across America to help ensure that all 9,600 veterans buried at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, PA, received a remembrance wreath this year, according to a statement from Wreaths Across America.

Thousands gathered at the #WreathsAcrossAmerica ceremony Saturday that provided another moving remembrance of the area's veterans laid to rest at the @VANatCemeteries of the Alleghenies in Cecil Township.

-- Observer-Reporter (@oronline) December 17, 2017

Nearly 1,000 families and volunteers gather for #WreathsAcrossAmerica at Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Pennsylvania.

-- National Cemeteries (@VANatCemeteries) December 16, 2017

A new chapter of Wreaths Across America based in North Huntingdon honored more than 2,000 veterans at Irwin Union Cemetery and Immaculate Conception Cemetery on Saturday as well.

VIDEO: Hundreds honor 2,100 veterans' graves with wreaths in North Huntingdon: via @TribLIVE w/ @shanedunlap photos

-- Matthew Santoni (@msantoni) December 17, 2017

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at, 724-850-2867 or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.


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