Every year on the Saturday before Christmas, local veterans and volunteers participate in National Wreaths Across America Day.
This year, wreaths or American flags were placed on the headstones of the 2,050 veterans buried at Arroyo Grande Cemetery.
The meaningful gesture is coordinated by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 982, The Boy Scouts of America Troop 450, and American Legion Post 136. About 150 volunteers showed up to help lay wreaths at Arroyo Grande Cemetery.
"Our first one was 2019, last year was very difficult because of COVID, this year we're back at the Arroyo Grande Cemetery but we do change cemeteries almost every year," said coordinator Micheal Knight.
National Wreaths Across America Day remembers and honors those who have served, coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 2,500 locations across the United States, at sea, and abroad.
"That is always our promise, to celebrate the lives of these heroes and leave them with a flag or a wreath," said Knight.
The special wreaths resemble the same ones placed at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. every year. A ceremony to remember those lost was held at 12 p.m., followed by the placing of the wreaths throughout the Arroyo Grande Cemetery grounds.
"During the ceremony we go over everyone and the eras that they served in, starting with the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq," said Knight.
To sponsor a wreath, find a location of a breathing ceremony near you, volunteer, or donate, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org.