This holiday season, more than 6,000 wreaths were placed on the graves of North Dakota veterans for “Wreaths Across America.”
A simple head stone, and a wreath just one of thousands that mark this spot.
“It’s a huge honor to lay that wreath,” Mitchell Erhardt, retired U.S. Navy says.
Hundreds gathered to pay their respects to those who sacrificed and served.
Honoring the thousands of North Dakota men and women who lie in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
“I’ll be a part of this ceremony for a very long time to make sure we remember them,” Erhardt says.
Erhardt laid a wreath honoring Navy men and women, and says remembering veterans goes hand in hand with the holidays.
Some like Erhardt come year after year, while others placed a wreath for the very first time.
“It hits me right [in the heart] knowing they fought for our freedom,” Scott Frieze, U.S, Army veteran says.
Giving back in honor of family.
“My dad’s a vet, I have uncles that are vets, and I thought it’s something I should do,” Frieze says.
And though wreaths are being places all across the country, this man says, it’s the support shown by his fellow North Dakotans that means so much
“It shows the love and respect North Dakotams have for their families,” Gary Maddock, commander for the Bismarck AMVETS says.
And if some are just too far away to lay a wreath of their own, these volunteers are happy to step in to help.
“If we can lay a wreath for them in honor of their loved ones, that to me is important,” Maddock says.
Because whether he’s remembering his brother, or his brother in arms, he’ll never forget.
“[It’s] to honor them for their services that’s given us freedom in the United States that we wouldn’t have otherwise,”Maddock says.
A freedom to Celebrate those who served this holiday season.
North Dakota’s Civil Air Patrol conducted the ceremony honoring all branches of the military and everyone who is buried in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery with a wreath.