HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - One of the most cherished tributes to veterans in North Alabama each year is the laying of wreaths on graves of those heroes who have passed away.
Once again this year, there was a huge community effort to get them ready.
Every year, a lot of work goes into the Wreaths for Veterans project. Volunteers make the bows, and fluff and prepare the wreaths.
Wreaths for Veterans places 3500-3600 Christmas wreaths on the graves of veterans at both Maple Hill Cemetery and Valhalla Memorial Gardens.
“We will be doing this two days after the Veterans Day Parade- the 14th at Valhalla and the 15th at Maple Hill. Each year, we are delighted with the number of volunteers that turn up to place these wreaths. It’s a labor of love and we are excited about doing it every year,” said Larry Bayer with the Madison County Military Heritage Commission.
It leads up to a ceremony in December and this year, it will be a little different and that’s for a reason.
“In the past years, I have used members of the different services, counting the Merchant Marines and Prisoner of War to place a wreath on a veteran’s grave. This year, I want to involve the young people. We’re going to be provided the band from Buckhorn High School, the young Marine organization will be presenting the wreaths. They’ll also act as the color guard. We’ll have a young man from one of the local Boy Scout units doing the Pledge of Allegiance. We are really excited about bringing more young people into the ceremony this year,” Bayer explained.
“I think it’s important they understand our military heritage and it’s a teaching experience for all of us,” he added.