Veterans honored with Wreaths Across America - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Veterans honored with Wreaths Across America

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More than 1,200 wreaths were laid at the Medical Lake Veteran's Cemetery this year. More than 1,200 wreaths were laid at the Medical Lake Veteran's Cemetery this year.
MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. -

The idea was conceived by a young paper boy in Bangor, Maine, who one day went to visit the National Cemetery in Arlington, VA and his life was forever changed. 

As an adult, he wanted to do something to honor those veterans who had done so much for our country, so he came up with the grassroots idea of Wreaths Across America.  It started small in the early '90s, but by 2005, had gained national recognition.  By 2014 more than 1,000 cemeteries held ceremonies laying around 700,000 wreaths on the gravesites of veterans

Governor Jay Inslee declared December 12th Wreaths Across America day in Washington state and encouraged folks to go out and join in the observance of our veterans.  

"People never forget," says Fred Warren Jr., former damage control for the US Navy. 

Whether they came to lay a wreath at the grave of someone they knew, loved, or never even met, on Saturday they came to remember. 

"On a day like today where it's freezing cold and people are still coming out by the hundreds to honor our veterans, it's very significant," says David Liapis, Chief Public Affairs Fairchild Air Force Base.    

Liapis and his family were among the many people who stood in the cold and rain to let those veterans and their families know what their sacrifices mean to our country.   

"We did not know the name of the person whose grave we put the wreath on," says Liapis, "but to me every person that's out here is a brother or sister in arms." 

Others in attendance, like Warren, used it as a time to teach their children about what it means to be an American.  "It shows that people are willing to die for our country, serve our country, and protect what we have and our freedoms," says Warren.  "It's important for them to see that."

For others the pain was still too great as they laid wreaths on the gravesites of their children and loved ones.   

More than 1,200 wreaths were laid at the Medical Lake Veteran's Cemetery this year. 

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