National Cemeteries Receive Christmas Wreaths
Boxes of wreaths were delivered to the National Cemetery in Fayetteville on Saturday (Dec. 14).
The hand-made Christmas wreaths from Maine were placed on the graves for the Wreaths Across America event.
The event is held across the world in 909 cemeteries using more than 550,000 wreaths.
Despite the freezing temperatures, a large crowd of veterans and volunteers showed up for the event. It started with a ceremony filled with speakers and demonstrations of honor. Then, families of the people buried in the cemetery and volunteers placed a wreath on a grave and gave a salute.
“It’s very emotional,” Michelle Yocum said. “I caught myself teary eyed several times, just thinking of those that we are showing our respect to and the family members that don’t have anyone here because we’re laying a wreath on their headstone.”
Parents brought their children, in an effort to teach them to appreciate the troops.
“We try to support remembering our veterans when we can,” Amy Robertson said. “We just thought it would be a great lesson for our kids and a good time to honor veterans.”
Walmart donated $450,000 in wreaths and transportation costs.
Patrick Simmons is a regional transportation manager for Walmart and helped plan the event. He said it was close to home for him because he went to ranger school with a friend that was killed in the Pentagon on 9/11. One of 909 cemeteries is at the Pentagon.
“It’s an everlasting ring just like a wedding ring, there’s not a beginning, there’s not an end,” he said. “That evergreen or a living thing to honor someone’s memory is a great way to keep them alive in our hearts and in our memories.”