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About 12,500 wreaths were placed on the headstones of military service members laid to rest at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton on Saturday for Wreaths Across America. This year marked the first time that the organization collected enough wreaths for every grave.

Approximately 2,000 people came together at Georgia National Cemetery on Dec. 14 to participate in the annual Wreaths Across America event, laying wreaths on the graves of the 16,000 veterans of the United States Armed Forces interred there.

However, now that the holiday season has come and gone, the Georgia National Cemetery Advisory Council, which oversees Wreaths Across America at the cemetery, is looking for volunteers to help pick up all of the wreaths that were on display.

Tony Hilliard of the GNC Advisory Council and Georgia National Cemetery Director James Mitchum said anyone from the community is welcome to come by on Saturday morning and assist in the cleanup process. Hilliard said those interested in helping out should meet up at 9 a.m. at the Public Information Center at the front of the cemetery.

Mitchum said Saturday’s event is not as formal of an affair as when the wreaths are placed in December. Once the cleanup begins, he said volunteers can simply head to a section where there are still wreaths on the graves, remove the wreaths and bring them to the front of the section by the roadway, where cemetery maintenance staff will come by and collect them all.

Both Hilliard and Mitchum recommended volunteers bring a long handled tool, such as a rake or a broomstick, which will make it easier to pick the wreaths up and carry more than a couple at a time to the front of each section. Hilliard also recommended bringing work gloves and warm clothing.

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