The moving Wreaths Across America tribute to veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice was held at noon this past Saturday (12/16/2017) at the Stones River National Cemetery.
Members of the Murfreesboro Composite Squadron, Smyrna Composite Squadron, Music City Composite Squadron and Wilson County Senior Squadron Civil Air Patrol partnered with Wreaths Across America to lay Maine balsam holiday wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers.
Civil Air Patrol members and members of the community placed approximately 1,200 wreaths.
Murfreesboro Composite Squadron Cadet Lt Col Jonah Torp-Pedersen said, "This is my fifth year participating in this ceremony. My first year, we only had about 23 wreaths to lay. When the cemetery has over 7,200 graves, how do you choose who gets a wreath? Let's continue Wreath's Across America's mission and work to bring more wreaths to Stones River, next year."
More than 1,100 cemeteries across the country took part in this holiday tradition.
Wreaths Across America Executive Director Karen Worcester noted, "We are not here to decorate graves, we're here to remember not their deaths, but their lives."
Ceremonial wreaths were placed in honor of the United States Navy, Marines, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and Prisoners of War/Missing in Action.
The Worcester Wreath Company, through a campaign called Wreaths Across America, began donating holiday wreaths in tribute to veterans laid to rest at VA's national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries in 2006. Since 1992, they have donated wreaths for grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery.
Heart warming stories and memories were shared while 650 wreaths were place on the local tombstones while TAPS was being played.
While the service was being held in Murfreesboro, there were programs being held across America with over 600,000 wreaths placed at nearly a thousand national cemeteries.
The mission of Wreaths Across America is to honor and to teach about the sacrifice our veterans made for the freedom we share. Local chapters of the Civil Air Patrol hosted the program at the Stones River National Cemetery.