CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Residents across the country honored fallen veterans Saturday by placing a wreath on headstones of those who defended our freedom.
Community leaders placed nearly 4,000 wreaths at the Salisbury National Cemetery. The move is part of Wreaths Across America, an organization formed to honor the fallen during the holiday season.
“Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies," Wreaths Across America posted.
Anne Bourque got involved in the ceremony this year after her daughter’s fiancé, 1st Lt. Hugh Conor McDowell, was killed in May in a military training accident at Camp Pendleton. The past few months have been especially hard for the family, as Bourque’s daughter and McDowell had planned to wed in September.
“Everywhere I go, I’ve got Conor with me,” Bourque said. “His passing has turned all of our lives upside down, and the Wreaths Across America event is just one way that I have chosen to celebrate his life and honor our fallen warriors.”
Now, Bourque honors Conor and other veterans each December, making sure every fallen “warrior” has a wreath placed on their headstone. “Rain, snow, sleet, or hail, we will be present until every single grave receives a wreath,” Bourque said ahead of the event.
Wreaths Across America is dedicated to placing wreaths at 1,600 cemeteries nationwide.
“It’s a lot, because it’s good to see the big turnout they had," said veteran Thomas Hicks. “And it’s surprising to see how many people come and take part. It’s good to see.”