AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A quarter of a million balsam wreaths aboard a tractor-trailer caravan are on their way to the nation’s most hallowed ground, Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place for more than 400,000 active duty U.S. service members, veterans and their families.

The “Wreaths Across America” convoy departed Saturday from Columbia Falls, Maine, where the wreaths are made, and will stop at schools, memorials and veteran group gatherings along the 740-mile journey to Arlington, Virginia.

wreaths america 2015 Quarter Of A Million Wreaths From Maine En Route To Arlington National Ceremony

A man places wreaths at gravesites during the 2015 National Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery on December 12, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images)

The tradition began when Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester donated 5,000 wreaths to Arlington Cemetery. Since then, it’s grown each year.

The wreaths are set to arrive on Dec. 15 at the national cemetery, where volunteers will place the greenery on headstones.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Original information from the AP indicated 1 million wreaths were being transported. Wreaths Across America contacted CBS to correct this number.

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