Arlington National Cemetery is one of the most iconic and sacred locations in the United States. Every year, approximately three million people visit the location, and there are are anywhere between 30 and 40 burials per week. With those kind of numbers, maintaining the cemetery is a huge task for the facility. This past Monday, the cemetery got a bit of help.
Every year, the National Association of Landscaping Professionals hold their annual Renewal and Remembrance Day function, where they ask volunteers to assist in beautifying Arlington National Cemetery. The volunteers do everything from aerating and planting flowers, laying down new mulch, repair and install irrigation systems, and even install supportive cables to protect the trees from strong storms.
Many of the volunteers are veterans themselves while others make the trip as a family event to say thank you to the men and women who have sacrificed for their country. Phil Fogarty has been with the project since its inception and acknowledges that it allows the volunteers to show their appreciation to the veterans and their families.
Lisa Kuperus, a volunteer for the past 14 years, would bring her children who were still in carriers. Now her five children make sure to mark the day on the family calendar and even assist with the children’s program.
The original day of service began 21 years ago and had a mere 50 volunteers. This past Monday, the program had over 400 volunteers and included landscaping professionals from 36 states.
For the full story by Ryan Hughes of ABC7 WJLA, click here.