It’s official for Wreaths Across America Day
STURGIS, S.D. – December 19 is officially Wreaths Across America Day, where millions across the country visit national cemeteries to pay their respects to veterans. Wreaths Across America is a national non-profit whose primary goal is to honor the fallen. Annually, sponsored wreaths are placed at the gravesites of veterans who joined the fight to keep America free. Five cities in South Dakota took part in the wreath laying. At the Black Hills National Cemetery, organizers say the holidays are a great time to remember servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“The Christmas season or holiday season is a very special time. It’s a time for remembering and thanking these people for their service” said Location Coordinator for Wreaths Across America, Dan Ziegler.
With strict social distancing guidelines at the national cemetery site, a ceremony could not be held, Dan explained.
“Last year we had around 300 people here for the ceremony and the wreaths were laid afterwards. Due to the pandemic we are extremely limited in what we can do.”
400 wreaths were sponsored this year. Several members of the Black Hills Commissioned Officers Association volunteered to distribute the wreaths as a way to give back.
“We’re doing this as a service project as a group to give back and to serve others in any way we can and this is one of the many things we do throughout the year to serve our community” said Lieutenant Commander Brian Alexander.
Dusty Johnson’s new military and veterans service representative Marco Padilla was also in attendance. He says the congressman is committed to keeping veterans as his top priority.
“Is it very important to commemorate and to amplify the heroism of our veterans. Not only in South Dakota but at the national level as well and someone like Dusty Johnson keeps fighting for that.”
Wreaths for America reports 1.7 million wreaths were placed for veterans in over 2500 participating locations this year.