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Fallen veterans honored in Wreaths Across America ceremony

CLOVIS, Calif. - Hundreds of thousands of veterans are being remembered this holiday season, in a special tradition.

Saturday, all across America, at the exact same time, volunteers gathered to lay Christmas wreaths at the headstones of men and women who served in the armed forces, including the Central Valley.

At Redbank Cemetery, dozens of volunteers laid out 225 wreaths to veterans who died.

Local Boy and Girl Scouts presented Christmas wreaths, representing each branch of the military.

It's all part of Wreaths Across America. An event that started at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, about 10 years ago.

Bill Rogers with Veterans Post 3225 Clovis said, "It grew to different cemeteries, Veteran's Post 3225 we cover the Redbank and Academy Cemeteries."

Dozens of volunteers, both big and small gathered to walk the grounds of Redbank Cemetery, placing Christmas wreaths on veterans' graves.

Gerald Hayden, a veteran with Post 3225 said, "Randall w. pratt, March 29 to October 13, 2007, in honor of your service, I thank you, sir."

As each volunteer laid a wreath down, they said the veteran's name out loud, in honor of the fallen hero.

Hayden said, "The people that we've served in honor of everything we've done, our fallen, you can't get enough of that, that's why we're free."

He said as a veteran himself, he's honored to take part in the special tradition.

"I love this, this is my job, it's what I do after service."

Even the young, taking part and learning about Valley war heroes, from the Civil War to World War II.

Shelby Cash, 11, said "We do it as part of the Girl Scouts but also just to support the veterans."

Her mother Danielle said it's important to their family.

"We come from a military family and we want to show our continue support for sacrifices they made and what those sacrifices that people are continuing to make for us."

Rogers said that's what this event is all about.

"It's very special doing this because these veterans here aren't here to celebrate the holidays with us."

For more information on how you can take part in a ceremony next holiday season, visit: vfw3225.com


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