Wreaths Across America making its way to Sioux Falls

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An event with a long and proud tradition is making its way to Sioux Falls.

Wreaths Across America honors veterans by placing wreaths on the headstones of fallen service members.

“What our mission is to remember, honor, and teach with the laying of remembrance wreaths during the holiday season,” Midwest Honor Flight President Aaron Van Beek said.

The South Dakota Veterans Cemetery opened last spring, and is part of a quickly growing list of Wreaths Across America participants.

“When I first got involved in 2015 there were under 2,000 locations nationwide participating and I believe we’re at 3,100 locations nationwide, placing more than 2.7-million wreaths across the country honoring our veterans,” Van Beek said.

The wreaths cost $15 apiece. Events like last month’s fundraiser at The Barrel House in Sioux Falls helped foot the bill. Fundraising efforts throughout the fall were a success and every veteran’s headstone will have a wreath.

“Talked to most of the families and told them that this was going on and I even had a widow come in yesterday and she was about in tears about how excited she is to have all of those wreaths here and to be on their loved one’s grave,” South Dakota Veterans Cemetery Director Erin Brown said.

Volunteer trucking companies delivered the wreaths on Tuesday. Veterans Cemetery Director Erin Brown says they’re part of what makes this event special.

“The driver that came here was a Marine and said he had been trying to get to be a driver for this program for about eight years and he had finally gotten to so just to see the excitement and the honor of even the drivers that are bringing them all the way to us is reassuring that the program is exactly what we want to have here,” Brown said.

Just in time for Christmas.

“Very excited for Wreaths Across America to be here,” Brown said.

The event is Saturday morning at the South Dakota Veterans Cemetery. The ceremony is scheduled for 11:00, followed by the wreath-laying at 11:30.

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