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Wreaths arrive to honor South Florida veterans this holiday season

Posted at 4:47 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 14:14:18-05

STUART, Fla. — Preparations are underway for a tradition that honors veterans right before the holidays.

It's called 'Wreaths Across America' and several organizers in our area began receiving the all important wreaths on Wednesday at Fernhill Cemetery, located at 1501 S. Kanner Hwy. in Stuart.

Forest Hills Memorial Park is just one of many cemeteries around the country where military families and volunteers will pay tribute to those who gave their lives for our country.

"It's a very moving ceremony as they lay wreaths, they will say the name of the fallen veteran and some salute and pay them respect. Others just have a moment of silence," said Shirley Rearick, one of the local organizers of 'Wreaths Across America.'

This Saturday, the wreaths and flags will be laid on the graves by those taking part. One of them is Gold Star mom Lisa Heintz. a Treasure Coast mother who lost her son in 2018 when he died in the line of duty.

"It's my way of taking care of his brothers and sisters, just as he's at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Michigan, and I have moms up there that take care of him for me," said Heintz.

Both organizers and volunteers agree that this tradition is about much more than pomp and circumstance.

"Our veterans, whether they live to be 80, or one like my son who only made it to 23, they willingly stepped up and wrote that blank check. So it's up to all of us to appreciate them and get out and show it," said Heintz.

If you need more information on volunteering and helping to lay the wreaths, click here.