TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Every year on the third Saturday of December, wreaths are placed on headstones and plaques across America’s cemeteries to honor our fallen soldiers.
East Texas News attended Tyler’s ceremony to remember those veterans who served and those who are no longer with us.
Families, spectators, and volunteers attended the annual Wreath Across America ceremony at the Tyler Memorial Cemetery. This ceremony is one of many ways to remember the over 3,000 veterans who are buried here.
“The sacrifice that they gave us gives us the freedom to be able to do this event today,” said retired Marine veteran Wendy Velin.
Velin, passed out wreaths for her first time. She helped lay some of the wreaths that went on this year’s headstones.
“It’s an amazing way to give back; it really is,” Velin said. “Our veterans are very special to us, and no matter what happens, we can’t forget those that gave the ultimate sacrifice and those that served their country.”
Retired Air Force veteran Terry Howlett has been attending wreath services for four years. He described the emotions he feels when placing the wreaths.
“It’s hard to keep your eyes dry because you read the names and the services that they performed,” Howlet said. “I know the sacrifices that these servicemen and women give to our nation.”
Despite not reaching the wreath goal this year, 23-year Army veteran Kandy Flores said she’s grateful to be a part of this nationwide ceremony.
“Just being out here, even if there’s not a wreath that’s placed on the grave, just being out here and saying their names and presenting a salute and just taking a time to remember each person here, that’s amazing,” Flores said. “That’s the least we can do for what they did.”
Tyler’s Civil Air Patrol and the Roberts Raiders Booster Club organized this year’s event.
Six-hundred-sixty-five wreaths were handed out to volunteers to place on headstones across Tyler Memorial Cemetery.