WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA)- At 6:30 a.m. on the campus of Georgetown University, it's brutally cold, but it's still not enough to deter Jonathan Cassidy from his mission.
"I talked to my coaches, advisors and the University and told them that this is something we should do."
As a linebacker on the Hoya football team, his job is to rally teammates and on this particular morning is no different. Cassidy is the school's point man for Wreaths Across America, a national program which pays homage to fallen soldiers by placing a small token of appreciation, wreaths, on their gravesites.
"I have the utmost respect for them," says the New Hampshire native. "To have someone younger than me having lost their lives fighting for us, words can't describe that."
In year one of his involvement, Cassidy says there were only fifteen volunteers, so he asked everyone he knew on campus to join him. Those efforts seemed to work. This year more than 100 classmates responded and expressed interest in joining him at Arlington National Cemetery.
"I really wanted to be a part of it this year," says Georgetown quarterback Scott Darby. "I just think it's the ultimate way to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice."
Once they arrived, what they saw overwhelmed them. Military personnel played Taps and mothers of recently lost service members dressed in all white.
"I have family in Iraq now so it was weird hearing people talk about losing," says Georgetown soccer player Sam Baker. "Everyday I think about losing them."
The 25 Georgetown student-athletes helped lay more than 15,000 wreaths making sure that at least on this day no one who died in combat was forgotten.
Written by Dave Owens
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com