MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. — People from around the area gathered to pay their respects at the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery.
The ceremony began with a large crowd standing in silence as a speaker read the names of 200 people who died in World War One and who were from Spokane. Some family members remembered their loved ones by placing wreaths on tall stands representing each of the military branches.
Michelle Castro hung a wreath in her daughter’s memory. Victoria Pinkney served in the Air Force before she died in 2013.
"I thought of my daughter, Tori,” Castro said as she stepped up to one of the stands. “She went by Tori. She loved her country. She loved to fly, and she's looking down on us. And it's just an honor."
At the end of the ceremony, families were each invited to lay one of almost 2,000 wreaths on the memorials at the cemetery.
Rod Cerenzia’s father was a Korean War Marine. Rod laid a wreath on his father’s memorial and said he was grateful to see so many people giving their respects to those who lost their lives.
"I'm here to honor my dad, and to see all these people and to see all these wreaths is very heartwarming,” he said. “It's nice to see that many people come out and share and think of all these veterans out here on a day like today."
Wreaths of America has locations in all 50 states. To become a volunteer and sponsor a wreath, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org.