PANAMA CITY, Fla.(WMBB)–National Wreaths Across America celebrates the veterans who are no longer with us.
Residents gathered at the Oakland Cemetery in Panama City to remember past family members, friends, and colleagues.
More than 3,400 locations all around the country held a ceremony Saturday for veterans as a part of the Wreaths Across America.
“We get to come out, and we get to honor and remember our veterans that are laying in these grave sites out here,” said Oak’s Cemetery Wreath Across American Coordinator Michael Sparks. “We get to teach our youth about the sacrifices these veterans have made and the freedoms they get off of, the sacrifices.”
The ceremony starts by honoring each branch of service in the U.S. military. This year, a wreath was added for the space force service members.
“I think it’s definitely a nice feeling for them,” said North Bay Sea Cadet Cash Atkinson. “I know I’ve had family in the military, and it’s good to have the comfort of knowing that they were appreciated.”
Dozens of wreaths were placed by loved ones across the gravesite.
U.S. Navy Chaplain Daniel Chester came from a military family and had several wreaths to lay out for his family members that came before him.
“For me, it’s personal, not only on a family level,” said Chester. ” I have relatives. I have a cousin that died in Vietnam. I didn’t know him. I was a little young, but he was in the army.”
Wreaths Across America started in 1992, laying the first wreaths at the Arlington National Cemetery.
The different service branch wreaths are now hanging outside the Oakland Cemetery in Panama City.