BOISE - In honor of every veteran laid to rest at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery a wreath will be laid. It's an effort that takes thousands of volunteers across the country and here at home.
Wreaths Across America was started 26 years ago for Arlington National Cemetery. 1,200 cemeteries now take part, including the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.
"For me it's awe-inspiriting. I think it's absolutely gorgeous," said Ira Smith, who is the honor guard commander for the Middleton American Legion Family.
Smith is also a volunteer for the local effort.
"I will be out here when the truck comes out here with the wreaths," said Smith.
The wreaths come from Maine, where thousands of volunteers make them.
"We need 4,200 of them to have one placed at every gravesite here at our cemetery," said Barbara Grant, who is a volunteer.
Anyone can sponsor a wreath for $15. In just a few weeks following a short ceremony, the wreaths will be laid by the community.
Smith says it's a kind gesture, honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom.
"It's something we need to pass on to the younger generation and this is a good way to do it," said Smith.
Volunteers say it's a sight and experience that shouldn't be missed, and they're happy to be a part of it.
"It's beautiful once you see it and turn around and you hear all the stories of people who got to come out and place a wreath," said Tamara Earp, who is a volunteer. "They're taking the time out of their morning to come and join you. It means a lot."
The ceremony will take place at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery on Saturday, December 16, at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome.
If you would like to sponsor a wreath, click here using #ID0005 at checkout so the money goes to the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. You can also mail a check or drop one by at 10100 Horseshoe Bend Road, Boise, ID 83714.
If you would like to volunteer for Wreaths Across America contact Tamara Earp at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery at (208) 995-1640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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