Each year, millions of Americans come together to remember the fallen, and honor those that serve and their families and teach the next generation about the value of freedom.

This gathering of individuals and communities takes place in local and national cemeteries in all 50 states as part of National Wreaths Across America Day.

Students, faculty and staff from Irmo High volunteered for National Wreaths Across America Day December 15 at Fort Jackson National Cemetery.

Irmo High School secretary, Debra Carlsen, got the school involved in Wreaths Across America two years ago.

“I think it is most important that our generation and our students need to realize the sacrifices of past generations and current generations and what they are doing for us so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have,” Carlsen said.

In 2017, more than 1.5 million veteran wreaths were placed on headstones at 1,422 participating cemeteries around the country in honor of the service and sacrifices made for our freedoms, with each name said out loud.

“Through the Wreaths Across America program, we are ensuring that the lives of our men and women in uniform are remembered, not their deaths,” said Kathy Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “It is our responsibility as Americans, to be their witness and to share their stories of service and sacrifice with the next generation.”

“I volunteered to show my appreciation for our veterans and what they have done for our country,” said Irmo High sophomore Mackenzie Hughes. “It was very humbling and an emotional experience to see the number of graves as well as to hear the families tell the stories of those that have died and the lives they lived.”

National Wreaths Across America Day is a free event and open to all people. For more information on how to volunteer or sponsor a wreath for a local hero, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

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