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‘Wreaths Across America’ ceremony this weekend at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery

An annual tradition to honor servicemen and women buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery begins this weekend.

More than 5,000 wreaths will adorn headstones at the cemetery for Wreath Across America.

The cemetery will close Friday, December 14 at at 6:00 p.m. and will re-open Saturday, December 15 at 7:00 a.m.

This is one of two times every year that the cemetery closes, according to cemetery director Jamie Porter.

A ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday where will be a shared moment of silence across the nation.

“This is important to the El Paso community because it’s all about remembering our veterans and our heroes and teaching our children what it’s like to remember them and honor them,” Porter said.

Organizers said 135 VA national cemeteries are guaranteed at least seven wreaths to honor each military service branch, the merchant marine and for prisoners of war and those missing in action.

The cemetery has partnered with the Civil Air Patrol, El Paso Composite Squadron for 13 years to arrange the wreath-laying ceremony.

Volunteers, families and veterans help with donating to buy the wreaths and to lay them on the headstones.

“We’ve been getting phone calls from people who want to come out and volunteer and help out with moving, placing wreaths so it’s a really good time for the community to come together and do this right before the holidays,” Porter said.

For more information about this event, call the cemetery administration office at (915) 564-0201 or visit the Wreaths Across America Website.

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