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Wreaths Across America Honors Idaho's Fallen Veterans

John Sonderman

Veterans laid to rest in Idaho are getting a special recognition Saturday, December 15. The organization Wreaths Across America is placing holiday wreaths on the graves of fallen men and women who served.

Wreaths Across America stresses they’re not merely decorating headstones. The nonprofit organization says it chooses to place live evergreen wreaths on headstones to symbolize a living tribute to the fallen.

The group got its start in 2007 and is the inheritor of one man’s kindness. In 1992, a businessman in Maine who ran a wreath company donated 5,000 evergreen circles to Arlington National Cemetery. They were placed on graves and the tradition has continued and expanded ever since.

After officially forming a little over a decade ago, Wreaths Across America has seen its holiday display grow well beyond Arlington. In 2017, the group placed more than 1.5 million wreaths at veterans’ cemeteries in every state. Individuals can sponsor the evergreen hoops and specify which cemetery they’d like it placed in.

To successfully lay so many tributes, the organization relies on a legion of volunteers. Last year, over a million people assisted with the program.

Here in the Gem State, more than 4,700 wreaths have been sponsored at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise. The Idaho Springs Cemetery has also exceeded its target sponsorship number. In addition to those facilities, wreaths will also be placed at the South Central Idaho Veterans Park in Wendell.

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