Colorado Springs honors veterans one wreath at a time; why your help is still desperately needed

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Over the weekend, residents of Colorado Springs answered the call for help from a local veterans group, aiming to honor fallen veterans this holiday season.

According to Senior Veterans, Inc., on Saturday, Nov. 27, the community was asked to donate wreaths that could be placed on veterans’ graves. The release said the organization was short over 1,200 wreaths. By Sunday, the organization said they had met their quota, and beyond.

The goal of the campaign is to get a wreath on every grave. Credit: Senior Veterans, Inc.

Each year, the organization asks the community to donate wreaths to be placed on the graves of veterans in three major cemeteries: Fort Logan, Fort Lyon, and Pikes Peak National Cemeteries.

“We want to make sure we get as many wreaths on those graves before the deadline, which is December the first,” said David Bolser, CEO of Senior Veterans, Inc.

This year, at least one of those national cemeteries will see every one of its white marble headstones adorned with a wreath, after donors met the challenge for the Pikes Peak National Cemetery in Colorado Springs.

A simple act of placing a wreath has a meaningful impact on families of fallen veterans. Credit: Senior Veterans, Inc.

“This is just a pure gift that comes from the heart of Americans. That comes from families and so forth. And it means so much to the families. But it’s a symbol from all of us to know that our veterans will never ever be forgotten,” Bolser said.

According to Bolser, not every year is a success and it is getting more common for several headstones to be left without a wreath during the holidays.

“There’s been gravestones that have been left behind. And that’s something that we don’t do. It’s just baked into our feelings for our veterans that we don’t leave them behind,” he said.

The holidays can be an especially hard time for families who have recently lost someone they love; as such, even a simple wreath can demonstrate support from the community.

The wreaths will all be placed on Dec. 18, which means a tight deadline for the organization. Credit: Senior Veterans, Inc.

“There may be a row of maybe forty gravestones,” Bolser said. “And there’s sixteen wreaths there. And then the last twenty-four graves don’t have any wreaths on them. It’s because there weren’t enough wreaths. And so it might happen just right before their loved one.”

After Dec. 18, people driving by or walking the grounds will be able to see the green and red symbol of remembrance at each marble white headstone.

However, Senior Veterans, Inc. says it still has a long way to go to reach its goal to place a wreath on all 110,000 graves at Fort Logan National Cemetery. Currently, the group has around 7,000 wreaths in its possession.

If you are still thinking of a unique and special gift idea for Christmas, you can donate a wreath to remember a fallen veteran this holiday season.

More information on the campaign and how to donate can be found on their website.

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