Members of the Washington, DC, Chapter of the U of U Alumni Association joined a throng of thousands Saturday to lay wreaths on gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery.

December 14 was “National Wreaths Across America Day,” an annual event that aims to place 500,000 wreaths on veterans’ graves nationwide, hosted by the eponymous nonprofit Wreaths Across America. Such an event was held last week at the Utah State Capitol.

The Utes are part of a larger group that’s laying wreaths and raising funds to sponsor them: the Capital Alumni Network (CAN), a volunteer organization composed of more than 250 Washington-based college and university alumni clubs that aims to create an environment for them to grow and thrive.

"We may be rivals on the field, but we were thrilled to join together with our fellow PAC-12 alumni groups to honor and serve our fallen soldiers in this small, but important way,” said Bryson Morgan, the U chapter’s president.

"Even though many of us are from different universities and different places, we can together with our DC community to honor those that have served our country," said Brandon Lee, the U chapter’s service chair.

In 2008, and each year since, Congress has issued a proclamation officially recognizing “Wreaths Across America Day” each December.

“As a former military officer, I witnessed first-hand how heart breaking it is for families to lose loved ones,” said Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT). “While laying wreaths at cemeteries across the country may seem like a small gesture, I think it's an important action that shows our gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices of these fallen soldiers and their families.”

To learn more about Wreaths Across America locations near you, or to donate, click here.