COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO -- Dozens of people laid hundreds of pine wreaths on the graves of veterans in Coeur d’Alene on Saturday as part of a national program called Wreaths Across America.
It is a tradition that began at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia in 2007. Volunteers did the same thing in more than 800 places across the country so soldiers are not forgotten.
"To remember those who served who aren't with us anymore, to honor those serving now and to teach our children the value of freedom,” said volunteer Captain Tony Woltz.
Dozens of cadets and community members honored local veterans in Coeur d’Alene. Volunteers placed wreaths on more than 100 graves.
A few family members of fallen soldiers came out to the Coeur d’Alene Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Most of the people who showed up were veterans themselves like Woltz who served 15 years in the Navy.
"This is how our country was founded. By people giving their lives to protect what we have in this freedom in this country,” said Woltz.
The national program aims to teach the community about the sacrifices soldiers made. Organizers encouraged everyone laying down the wreaths to take a closer look.
"They were all people who had uncles and brothers and sisters. They were all part of this community,” said Woltz.
The wreaths and ribbon are donated, but local cadets spent months selling them to sponsors.
All of the money went toward veteran outreach programs across the country.
2013 was the fourth year Coeur d’Alene cadets participated in Wreaths Across America.
If you are interested in getting involved you can visit their website here.