GRAND ISLAND - During the holiday season, it is a time for families to be together and give back. Hundreds of families gave back by placing wreaths at the graves of Grand Island veterans.

 

It may be a small gesture, leaving a wreath on the grave of a soldier. But for the people who loved that soldier, it means the world. Tammy Dimmitt said she has a young soldier in her life that passes away and the thought of someone else putting a wreath on their grave makes her feel many things.

“Extremely emotional, extremely proud and emotional,” Dimmitt said.

Wreaths Across America was able to supply 1200 wreaths to cover every grave in the Grand Island Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery. The graves date back to the Civil War and some may not get many visitors anymore, but Saturday they were far from forgotten

“A lot of them family aren't around anymore so if we could step in and be a part of that that's really nice for us to be able to be their family during this time of year,” Kyle Wiesen said.

Children, students, families, and anyone who wanted to say thank you for a veteran's service grabbed a handful of wreaths. People paused to read the names out loud, straighten the bows, and move on to the next. People came from around the area to make a tradition out of being with family and appreciating those around them

 

“It's just a really nice way for us to teach the kids about veterans and what they've done for us and for them and for the future,” Wiesen said.

This is the first year the veterans home has been empty since the vets moved to Kearney. But those who organized this event wanted to make sure that while the vets home is vacant, those who found their final resting place in Grand Island were not left behind.

“That's the most important thing, to never forget them even though the home isn't here any longer. Just for us to still remember them,” Dimmitt said.

They went through all the wreaths in just a few minutes. Those who were involved said they were glad they came and they would come back again next year.