GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)- Local VA members, the civil air patrol, and state senator Andre Jacque were all in Green Bay Saturday to honor veterans on a day that doesn’t get the same fanfare as other veteran-oriented holidays but is still very important.
Saturday is Wreaths across America, a day to honor veterans ahead of the holidays. In 2,700 locations across the United States, volunteers placed donated wreaths on headstones of fallen service members.
Wreaths Across America started in 1992 in Maine when the owner of Worcester Wreath Company Morrill Worcester had an excess of wreaths during the holiday season. He arranged the extra wreaths to get placed at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 2005, pictures of the wreaths at Arlington went viral, igniting national interest in the project and allowing it to eventually grow into what it is today.
In 2007, the Worcester family turned the Wreaths Across America project into a non-profit 501-(c)(3) organization.
The Green Bay version of Wreaths Across America was at Woodlawn Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. This is the fifth year Woodlawn Cemetery has hosted the event.
“These heroes have paved the way for us so that we can be free, we are free because of them and we need to remember that,” says Ken Corry who is a Northeast Wisconsin veteran.
“(We have to) remember the history of how we got here,” says Northeast Wisconsin veteran Daniel Longoria.
The event began indoors with speakers, the singing of the National Anthem, Taps, and a rifle salute. Wreaths representing each branch of the United States Military, the merchant marine, and missing in action and prisoners of war are presented.
The wreaths are then taken outside and laid throughout the cemetery. Eight wreaths in total.
“It’s a proud moment for us that people in the community are coming out to this,” say Corry.