Milledgeville goes big for Wreaths Across America


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Anyone traveling down the Vinson Highway and towards the Fall Line Freeway around lunchtime Saturday probably saw an inordinate number of cars parked around the Georgia Veterans Cemetery. 

Basically, there were cars parked everywhere.

Turns out that it was all part of the Wreaths Across America initiative that seemingly grows larger with each Christmas season. Baldwin County on Saturday played its part in the roughly 3 million wreaths that were laid at the graves of American veterans across the country and around the world.

It all started in December 1992, when a wreath maker from Maine had a surplus of Christmas wreaths, so he decided to load them up and drive to Arlington National Cemetery in the nation's capital. Several area American Legions and VFW posts caught wind of the plans and volunteered to decorate each wreath with a red bowtie.

That continued modestly for several more years until 2005, when a photo of wreaths placed in a snowy stretch of Arlington National Cemetery began circulating widely on the internet. It basically was one of the very first viral photos in America...

By that following December, the initiative had spread to roughly 150 different cemeteries across the country. By 2022, the total number of wreaths reached 2.7 million, and this year it's expected to exceed 3 million.

Here's how the ceremony looked on Saturday here in Milledgeville...

Photos by Amelia Pelton

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