Festive wreaths now adorn the graves of veterans buried in Clovis — along with thousands of others in cemeteries across the nation. The wreaths were placed by volunteers on Dec. 12 as part of Wreaths Across America.
The wreath-laying program started in Arlington National Cemetery as a way to honor and remember fallen veterans. Since 2006, the program has continued to spread across the nation, with volunteers laying more than 700,000 wreaths at 1,000 locations last year.
This is the third year that Clovis Cemetery District has participated, and a record number of wreaths — 3,700 — were placed on graves in Clovis, Red Bank and Academy cemeteries.
Hundreds of residents walked across Clovis Cemetery District, praying, saluting and placing wreaths at graves that were marked with American flags the day prior by more than 75 volunteers.
Greg Graber, the master of ceremonies at the wreath laying ceremony, encouraged volunteers to look up information about the veterans whose names were on the headstones.
“They are more than statistics,” he said. “They are real American heroes.”