US: Last-minute rush of donation brings flowers to every grave at Arlington

All 300,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery could have a flower placed on its headstone for Memorial Day after a last-minute rush of donations and some help from the floral industry.

“This outpouring of support shows the patriotic spirit of so many Americans,” said Ramiro Penaherrera, the executive director of The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, the nonprofit organization in charge of the annual practice of placing flowers at the graves for the holiday.

The foundation said last week that it only had enough money to place flowers on about half of the military graves at the cemetery, which occupies 640 acres in Arlington, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington.

But the foundation has received an influx of donations in the last several days, including help from importers in the flower industry. Various florists have sent flowers to Arlington for the foundation’s Flowers of Remembrance Day on Sunday.

“We are so grateful to the American public and the generosity of our floral importers, who are literally donating thousands of flowers by the pallet, to ensure our fallen military heroes are honored this year,” Penaherrera said. “Many of the floral importers donating flowers are immigrants to the United States who are grateful for this nation and the freedoms it offers.”


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