Volunteers, Students Help Pickup Christmas Honors Wreaths

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FORT SMITH(KFSM) - The holidays are over and many people are now taking down their Christmas decorations. This includes one local initiative honoring service members with wreaths.

Hundreds of volunteers, from students to veterans, picked up more than 16,000 wreaths laid on the headstones at the Fort Smith National Cemetery.

"It's a fulfilling experience coming out here and to honor our troops like this," said one group of students.

All of the work was done in less than an hour.

"It was all teamwork and dedication and we got the job done pretty quick,"  one volunteer said.

Every year during the month of December, the group Christmas Honors lays the wreaths to show support for veterans and the fallen.

"Santa Claus has gone back but our commitment remains to these veterans who we appreciate and adore that the time has come to put them back in storage so we can do a good job for them next year," said Chairman Phillip Merry.

More than 320 students with the ROTC program at Northside High School volunteered their time.

The wind did not stop any of the volunteers from getting the job done. After the wreaths were loaded into pickup trucks they were taken to the Fort Smith Convention Center to be cleaned and boxed up.

The Christmas wreaths at the Fayetteville National Cemetery will be picked up Friday January, 20 starting at 9:00 a.m.

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