Holiday wreaths honor the military at Wyuka Cemetery

By: Jenn Schanz

No amount of winter cold could keep Nebraska's veterans from celebrating their fallen.

The fourth annual Wreaths Across America event turned out a big crowd at Wyuka Cemetery.

Service members gathered to lay wreaths on the graves of lost veterans, a reminder that during the holidays especially, they're always in our hearts.

“I think it's a very important mission of Wreaths Across America to remember our fallen, to honor those who currently serve, and to teach our young people that freedom comes at a price,” says Sgt. Major Eli Valenzuela of the Army National Guard.

Donna McInnis Robinson's brother–in–law has been missing in action since 1970. She laid a wreath in honor of him.

“I think you feel closer to them if you can honor them for the holidays. You're around your family and you want to be around them too,” she says.

The wreaths were brought in all the way from Maine. In past years, anywhere from 350 to 600 wreaths were donated., but this year things stepped up a notch.

“This year, 824 wreaths. They came in last night in a Crete Carrier truck, and we unloaded 100 some boxes,” says event organizer Diane Bartels.

1700 fallen soldiers are laid to rest at Wyuka, organizers say hopefully the event will spruce up their resting place with honor, and some holiday cheer.