Hundreds of thousands of wreaths laid at Arlington Cemetery by volunteers

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

In an effort to never forget those who served, about 100,000 volunteers helped place around 250,000 wreaths on headstones at Arlington Cemetery over the weekend as part of the annual Wreaths for America celebration.

“We understand we have Veterans Day in the fall and Memorial Day in the spring, but our service members sacrifice their time and safety every single day of the year to preserve our freedoms,” Wreaths for America says in their mission statement. “There is no better time to express our appreciation than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.”

According to The Hill, the event began in 1992 when the owner of a Maine wreath company teamed up with Sen. Olympia Snow to place excess wreaths in the older section of the Arlington National Cemetery that had less visitors. The event picked up national attention in 2005.

A similar tradition now takes place at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, where thousands volunteered as well.

The wreaths were laid Saturday and will remain on the headstones until Jan. 11.