Veterans honored with wreaths for holidays


(NewsNation) — More than 2.4 million veterans across America were honored with wreaths laid at gravesites on National Wreaths Across America Day, Dec. 17.

Over 50,000 of those veterans have been laid to rest at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery alone — all a reminder of the sacrifice they gave and the importance of remembering who they were.

“I think there was 13 trailers this year. Each box contains nine wreaths. Divide that into 51,000. (That is) close to 5,700 cartons that we unload,” Larry Allen said on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Tuesday.

Larry Allen is a Vietnam-era veteran and the director of North Texas Wreaths of Honor. His job is to make sure those who served stay decorated.

“A veteran can die twice. The first time when they stop breathing, and the second time is when we stop saying their name,” Allen said.

There were many others like Allen who came together at the wreath ceremony this past weekend to pay respects to the fallen, as people from over 3,500 different locations nationwide gathered.

“There were men and women who came before us who put their lives on the line and some sacrificed and lost their lives for the freedoms that we have in this country,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at the event.

Donations still poured in for those who paid the ultimate price.

Dallas-Fort Worth resident Chris Bush and his wife lost their child, Peter, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009. That winter they raised 250 wreaths after learning none had been placed at DFW National Cemetery. Bush is now the director for Wreaths Across America for that site.

“It’s probably the most impactful, best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. To do something that makes so many people happy, it’s very satisfying and I’m proud that I chose this path,” Bush said.

In addition to remembering those who gave their life, the wreath ceremony is about continuing education for younger generations and teaching kids that America’s freedoms weren’t free.

Planning for next year’s wreath-laying has already begun.

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