JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — More than four million fallen soldiers lay in national cemeteries across our nation and Saturday thousands of families and volunteers honored those veterans by laying wreaths on their graves.
The Jacksonville National Cemetery was one of over 3,000 cemeteries where events took place for ‘ Wreaths Across America Day’. Hundreds of volunteers and families filled the cemetery Saturday morning to lay wreaths.
“He was in Vietnam North Korea, he had a purple heart," Tina Musico said.
Tina Musico and her sister have been laying a wreath across her parent’s grave at the Jacksonville Nation Cemetery for over a decade.
“We can honor our families. And we can honor other military families, people that don’t’ have families to put their wreaths on there," Musico said.
They were one of the many families and hundreds of volunteers part of the community ensuring every grave had a wreath for the holidays.
“My husband’s a veteran, my brother, I have two brothers that are veterans. I have a son that’s actually serving in the military. So this is very very important to us to come and show our dedication to the community," Judy Wards said.
Over 15,500 wreaths were placed on sites at the Jacksonville National Cemetery. The event is held each Decembers around holidays to honor the families with empty seats due to a loved one lost during service. The wreaths are made possible through donations.
“It's almost like a family reunion, you get everybody here, gather around, and include those who aren’t here," Mathew Glisson, a Warrior leader for the Wounded Warrior Project, said.
The Jacksonville National Cemetery is the seventh national cemetery in Florida. 30 members and volunteers with the Wounded Warrior Project Jacksonville chapter were there Saturday morning laying wreaths.
The tradition has been going on for over three decades with three main goals; Remember, Honor and Teach.
“Theses are all my brothers and sisters that are here, so it doesn’t matter what their name is, what their rank was, they are my brother and sister regardless so it is really nice to be out here to give my time to them, the time that they gave to me," Glisson said.