For the 14th year in a row, the roughly 7,000 headstones at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery will be covered in Christmas wreaths. It’s part of Wreaths Across America, a national nonprofit effort to honor service members during the holidays.
From now until Dec. 4, anyone can sponsor a wreath for $15 by paying online or sending a check to Bismarck Civil Air Patrol. In past years the Civil Air Patrol hosted a ceremony for the wreath-laying that nearly 2,000 people would attend.
Because of COVID-19 this year, CAP will be offering times the public can place wreaths on headstones, and posting the ceremony online instead of an in-person gathering.
“This is an opportunity to honor service members at a time of year they’re typically forgotten about,” said Kevin Iverson, Wreaths Across America Coordinator with the Bismarck Civil Air Patrol Squadron. “Wreaths Across America is all about honoring those service members who’ve paid the price before us, the services they have made, and an opportunity to dress up the cemetery at Christmastime. Once the wreaths are out there, it’s a great opportunity to come out, and just take a look.”
The public is invited to help place the wreaths during two separate timeframes on Dec. 19. The first will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for those who would like to place a wreath on a specific headstone. During this time the public is asked to place wreaths only on headstones they sponsored. The second timeframe will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the general public to place the rest of the wreaths.
To find out more about how to sponsor a wreath, head to the Civil Air Patrol Squadron’s website here.