PRESTON, Minn. - At state veterans cemeteries across the country, people are gathering to honor deceased veterans. The event happens every year on the third Saturday of December. Wreaths are laid in honor of each branch of the military and POWMIA, and then families disperse to lay wreaths at the burial sites of their loved ones. For buried veterans whose families aren't able to be there, volunteers lay a wreath to properly honor them.
"It's hard sometimes to stop and pause and take a little time to reflect and think about the reasons that we have these freedoms that we have," explains director of the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery Preston Robert Gross.
Master Sergeant Lisa McCabe-Evans has served for 23 years in the National Guard and Reserves. She was selected to lay a wreath in honor of Army veterans, laid one for her father who passed away in October, and volunteered to lay wreaths at other veterans' graves. For her and other families at the ceremony, this will be their first holiday season without their loved one. "Especially our service members who are a part of our family, it's really nice to remember them. I've really been missing my dad the last couple days, especially when I found out I was selected for commission," says McCabe-Evans.
300 wreaths now decorate the cemetery.