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Coastal Bend holds annual Wreaths Across America ceremony

Posted at 5:14 AM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 07:34:40-05

This Saturday morning the Wreaths Across America ceremony will be taking place at the Coastal Bend Veterans state cemetery.

This is the time of year for veterans and families to remember their loved ones that have served and given their life in defense of our country.

Not only is this a way to remember and honor the nation’s fallen, but it’s also to teach the next generation about the sacrifices made.

The mission of Wreaths Across America is both humble and profound: to honor America’s fallen heroes with Christmas wreaths in their memory.

“It is a national event that takes place at every veterans’ cemetery throughout the country, and we have become a part of that. Our goal is to always honor our fallen and departed servicemen,” said Veterans Band Director Ram Chavez.

On Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m., the Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Coastal Bend Veterans State Cemetery is set to remember and honor America’s veterans through the laying of remembrance wreaths on the graves.

“The reason we need volunteers is to help with a lot of hard work to set up the area with chairs and all the necessary logistics so we can be ready to welcome the wreaths. And we need volunteers to help unload the wreaths from the truck at different locations throughout the cemetery then later, we need volunteers to help us place wreaths for those families who are not able to attend,” said Chavez.

Sponsored by the Veterans Band of Corpus Christi, this event will place more than 2,000 wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes.

“Well, the cemetery here opened on December 7, 2011 so our first Wreath Across America was December of 2012 so this is really our 6th anniversary. It has grown from the first year when we laid a little bit close to 300 wreaths, but now its going to be about 2,800 this coming Saturday,” said Chavez.

“So many of our servicemen have tremendous history in defense of our country, and they are right here in our cemetery. One of the most common remarks from families is ‘I am so glad Corpus Christi has not forgotten about my dad, my brother, my son…’ and so on. So it is very important for our community…very important,” said Chavez.

Wreaths Across America began in 1992 when just 5,000 Christmas wreaths made the trek from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. to be placed at soldiers’ burial sites. Through the years though, the effort has grown, and now more than 1 million wreaths are taken to the hallowed grounds.

The public is invited to attend and participate in the event at the Coastal Bend Veterans State Cemetery located at 9974 I-37 Access Road, and those looking to volunteer and help can notify the cemetery staff at (361) 248-4830.