HELENA – Around 100 volunteers gathered at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery Saturday morning for Wreaths Across America Day and honor those that served.
Veterans, families and community members placed 756 wreaths across the hallowed grounds after a service at the Fort William Henry Harrison Chapel.
Saturday’s event coincides with events at Arlington National Cemetery and 1,400 additional locations across the United States.
Before laying the first wreath, retired Col. Jen Dalrymple with the United States Air Force thanked everyone present for their support.
“Thank you for helping us lay these wreaths. To remember, honor and teach,” said Dalrymple.
Organizers say this year’s turn out was fantastic and are glad to see so many people pay homage to our veterans.
“You know this is an opportunity for all of us to show our respect for our service members, our veterans, the families. It’s a privilege,” said Wreaths Across America Location Coordinator Linda Juvik.
Juvik said the event wouldn’t be possible without the generous donors, volunteers and support they’ve received from the community.
Deb Matteucci was joined by her son a daughter to help place the wreaths and said her family was just happy to give back to the veterans and servicemembers of Montana.
“We have a lot of veterans in the community and in our family so it’s a nice way to give back during the holidays,” said Matteucci.
According to organizers, the wreaths were originally delayed and not expected to arrive in time for the event on Saturday.
Organizers say it was a bit of a miracle that the wreaths made it on time due in thanks to some dedicated truck drivers.
On Monday, December 10 the Montana State Capitol wreath was placed in the Capitol Rotunda with flags representing all military branches and National League of Families POW-MIA flag.
The wreath is on display at the Capitol through the Holidays.