Wreaths Across America ceremony held at Bay Pines

- A solemn Christmas celebration took place at one very well-known cemetery in Pinellas County.

Hundreds of volunteers and families laid military wreaths on the graves of 4,000 soldiers at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

Betty Hess is from a family of military veterans.  She’s older and admits, it’s hard for her to get around these days, though she says nothing, will stop her from giving the most important gift this season -respect.  “My father, my uncles, my brother, my nephew all military,” Hess said as she laid a wreath on the headstone of a solider from the Korean War.

She along with other families and volunteers are laying military wreaths on four thousand graves at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

In 1,400 other national cemeteries across the country, Saturday is being called Wreaths Across America day. Susan Crone says the moment you forget, is the moment their loved ones are truly gone. “Sometimes I wonder where our world is headed but then I see all these people today and we remember!

We remember our roots and we are not going to let that go away,” Crone said. Sadly Bay Pines wasn’t able to afford a wreath for all 35,000 graves but volunteers made an impact for hundreds of families.  

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