Wreaths Across America: it’s never too cold to show appreciation

Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 10:11 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The winter weather impacted many parts of life this past week, but it wasn’t going to stop organizers behind the Wreaths Across America event at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery from honoring those interred there.

Wreaths Across America is a national event hosted by more than 3,400 cemeteries throughout all 50 states, at sea, and abroad. This year’s event at the state’s veteran Cemetery in Morton County had to postpone a day due to severe weather conditions.

“We had three different semis bringing wreaths in and every one of them got stranded at some point,” said Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Iverson.

Despite the snow, wind, and below freezing temperatures, the cemetery hosted the largest volunteer turnout out of all 3,400 participating sites.

“Being a veteran myself, I just like to be able to give back a bit whenever we can. This is our fourth year doing it,” said Lucus Shelquist, a volunteer.

Together, volunteers from the area not only placed 8,100 wreaths on every headstone, but they also dug them all out of the snow prior to the ceremony.

“In order to honor those veterans, it’s really best that we have volunteers, members of the public,” said Iverson.

Volunteers came from near and far, young, and old, to honor our fallen veterans and spread holiday cheer.

“So, we can make it more merry and ‘Christmas’ out here,” said Kennedy Shelquist, a young volunteer.

Though the weather may have been an understandable reason to stay home, hundreds of local volunteers decided honoring our veterans was well worth it.

Iverson says many areas have larger corporations sponsoring large amounts of wreaths, but here in North Dakota, the vast majority of sponsors are from individuals giving on their own expense.