Arlington National Cemetery falling short on wreath donations

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WASHINGTON – It’s become a moving holiday tradition to honor the nation’s war dead.

But now, donations may be falling short as thousands of graves could go without a wreath decorating their headstones ahead of the holidays in Arlington National Cemetery.

While the ultimate goal is to cover every gravestone in Arlington, organizers last year covered about one-third with wreaths. But volunteers always make sure to cover Section 60, the area of the cemetery with soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“And behind every one of those grave markers is a story. There’s a family who has grieved,” Wayne Hanson of “Wreaths Across America” said.

This year’s deficit isn’t so much from a lack of donations for the wreaths but more likely because donors are trying to spread the Christmas spirit to other veteran’s cemeteries across the country.