Lynchburg, VA - Every year in December, people around the country gather to honor our veterans at the "Wreaths Across America" event. This is the fifth year the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg has hosted Wreaths Across America.
The bells rung at noon Saturday, signaling the start of a ceremony held across the country at that exact time.
"We honor and remember all soldiers, past and present," Elaine Roy said as she began the ceremony.
Roy is Regent for the Blue Ridge Chapter of National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, who along with the James River Chapter, sponsored the ceremony.
"We have to remember those who fought for our freedom. And it's a very emotional time sometimes to do that," Roy said.
It was an emotional day for many as they gathered in a moment of silence, in song and prayer.
Almost 1,000 wreaths were dedicated Saturday. People laid them on graves of veterans, bringing life to a usually quiet place.
About 300 people took part in the event.
"I'm overwhelmed by the fact that so many people care about this. It just shows that the American people care about the sacrifice that soldiers done from the Confederate on up," said Winston Mead with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Leaders say the goal of Wreaths Across America is to teach, remember and honor.
Brigadier General Kim McKenzie was the Mistress of Ceremonies. The Daughters of the American Revolution invited her. She is retired from the U.S. Air Force.
"It's about recognizing and remembering the veterans who came before us and gave their lives in service to their country and us," McKenzie said after the ceremony.
The Lynchburg cemetery has about 2,200 veterans buried there. Leaders say every year, they rotate which sections get the wreaths.
Wreaths Across America will take place the second Saturday in December next year. If you're interested in donating a wreath next year, you can get information here.
Learn more about Wreaths Across America.