(WJLA) - Among the subtle hills of Arlington National Cemetery, along the rows of white headstones, Melanie Adams lays a wreath for the second time.
"I cry all the time, think about him all the time," she says. Her son Justin was killed in Afghanistan in July of 2012. He was just 31 years old.
Two rows over Betty Edwards sets another wreath in memory of her father, a two time purple heart recipient and Vietnam veteran. It's a chance for her to tell him one last time how much he is missed.
"Just, how much he is loved," she says.
The two women were joined by more than 25,000 other family members and volunteers spread across the grass to lay a wreath at for America's fallen.
"Just really a sign of respect," says Louise Carter who hails from England. She and her husband took their two young boys to see the cemetery.
In all, volunteers will adorn more than 100,00 graves with a holiday wreath. It's a simple sign that service and sacrifice are not forgotten.