It’s one of the most emotional ceremonies of the year.
A special tribute for our fallen war heroes. It’s called “Wreaths Across America.”
Thousands of Christmas wreaths were laid on headstones. There are more than 1,400 ceremonies that take place around the county.
Three of them take place in the Central Valley.
Dozens of volunteers at the Clovis Cemetery placed Christmas wreaths on veterans headstones as a way to honor and remember them this holiday season.
As the sun shined bright and early Saturday morning, many gathered at a special ceremony to honor veterans buried at the cemetery.
“Our mission here is to remember the fallen, honor those who have served or currently serving and their families and to teach our children the value of freedom,” says says Linda Branam, local coordinator for Clovis Cemetery Wreaths Across America.
Each military branch was honored with a wreath.
Then community members stepped in helping to place wreaths on more than 3,600 graves.
“To me, it’s just an honor to recognize someone that sacrificed their life,” says valley resident Lisa Benham Lewis.
It’s her first time participating in the event.
Her father, an Air Force veteran, is buried not too far from several Buchanan High School graduates who lost their lives.
“I really appreciated their service to our country, and their sacrifice,” Lewis says. “We feel for their families.”
And it’s a family affair for Erin Gibbard, an Air Force veteran and volunteer.
Her 14-year-old son Ayden says he is glad to be by his mother’s side.
“It makes me feel good that I can do this, and these people that served and gave the ultimate sacrifice, they’re acknowledged for what they did,” her son says.
With each wreath placed on a fallen veteran’s headstone, organizers say it’s a simple gesture to show those who served that this community will never forget.
For more on how to take part in next year’s ceremony, click here.