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Honoring Those Who Sacrificed Everything, One Wreath at a Time


By Leischen Stelter, editor

On December 13th, more than 250 people gathered at Marietta National Cemetery in Georgia to lay wreaths on the graves of veterans. At the same time, in cemeteries across the nation, thousands of volunteers participated in Wreaths Across America, a national non-profit organization that pledged to place 750,000 evergreen wreaths on the graves of military men and women in all 50 states this holiday season.

Wreaths Across AmericaScott Roberts was just one of thousands of volunteers who got up before sunrise to help honor those who died.

“It was overwhelming to walk through those gates and see all those graves and to help place hundreds of wreathes on them – it was powerful,” he said.

Scott, an American Public University (APU) alumnus, was the university’s Georgia coordinator. In total, APU helped coordinate the laying of wreaths in 13 cemeteries around the country, including the laying of 230,000 wreaths at all the graves in Arlington National Cemetery, which was the first time this goal had been achieved.

For Scott, participating in this event was a humbling experience. As a 20-year law enforcement officer, he also served in the military.

“A large majority of current and former law enforcement officers are also prior military, so many of us understand the dedication and sacrifice made by those in the military,” he said. “It felt good to do this small thing, to give back to these veterans who sacrificed it all, and to let their Wreaths on Graves in Arlington National Cemeteryfamilies know that they’re not forgotten.”

While this was Scott’s first time participating in Wreaths Across America, it won’t be his last.

“This experience was humbling and it was an honor – I felt lucky to participate,” he said.

If you would like to be involved in AMU’s effort next year, please send us an email.




  1. To Scott Roberts – you were not alone with getting up early for Wreaths Across America. For I was up with the many volunteers up at Georgia National Cemetery – Canton, GA laying the 10,000 wreaths for the many who are not forgotten this holiday season. I am sure that you were moved emotionally to help again in the coming years. There are many families of these military souls – thank you for covering Marietta National Cemetery with the kind and thoughtful gesture of a fresh wreath at the headstones. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for volunteering at such a wonderful event. Lisa Tobin, Roswell, GA


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