225,000 Flowers placed at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Volunteers carry flowers near the McClellan Arch in Arlington National Cemetery. On Sunday, May 26th, more than 1,400 volunteers from the D.C. area honored fallen troops by placing 225,000 flowers at gravesites on America's most hallowed grounds.

On Sunday, May 26, more than 1,400 volunteers from the D.C. area honored fallen troops by placing 225,000 flowers at grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery. This annual event is organized by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation.

"It's about bringing back the original meaning of Memorial Day, by encouraging people to visit cemeteries and decorate grave sites while recognizing the sacrifices made by our fallen military heroes and veterans," said Ramiro Penaherrera, who co-founded the project in 2011. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and people would observe the holiday by visiting cemeteries and decorating grave sites to recognize the sacrifices made by our fallen military heroes.

This event is part of a national effort by the foundation involving 600,000 flowers that decorated 400,000 grave sites at more than 100 cemeteries nationwide on Memorial Day. 

"Thousands of veterans' grave sites go unvisited and unrecognized on Memorial Day – the national day to honor our fallen troops and decorate their grave sites," said Penaherrera. "We want to honor and remember their service and sacrifice for our country."

Flower growers from Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia and California donate flowers for the event. The event is widely supported across the floral industry. In partnership with the Foundation, more than 200 retail florists and main street businesses distribute flowers from their shops to the public for placement in cemeteries across the country to honor fallen service members and late veterans. 

There are 155 cemeteries participating this year with the help of 5,000 volunteers nationwide. Please see our website for a list of 40 participating cemeteries. Additional cemeteries are receiving flowers as part of special Memorial Day observances organized by community groups working with the Foundation.

Learn more on the website at

Contributed by the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation