13,000 wreaths laid at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery to honor veterans

Saturday marked the 16th annual Wreaths for Vets event
Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 3:46 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - From the sound of Taps, to hundreds of volunteers laying 13,000 silk wreaths on veteran tombstones, every American soldier was honored Saturday morning at the 16th annual ‘Wreaths for Vets’ wreath laying ceremony.

“I just think it’s such a moving tribute, and such a memorable way to say ‘your service is gone but not forgotten’,” Hilary Shine, a member of the Wreaths for Vets organizing committee, told KWTX.

“Almost everyone knows someone or has a relative or loved one interred here,” Cyd West, treasurer of Wreaths for Vets, said.

One of the interred at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, where the ceremony took place, is Marcel Hull. His daughter, Jessica, was there to pay tribute to him today.

“He passed away in 2019, and we’ve come here for the last three years,” Jessica Hull said. “And it’s just such an honor to come up here every year and lay the wreath for him.”

Jessica told KWTX her father served in the military for 20 years before retiring as a Fort Hood major.

“It’s an honor to be out here to be with family and friends who have experienced the same loss,” Hull continued. “And it’s an honor to be out here to thank everyone who has served and is still serving today.”

The wreath laying ceremony is a tradition that started in 2006 with just 600 wreaths, but continues to grow each year.

“It has certainly grown far beyond that,” Shine said. “Now it’s 13,000. and someday it will number 50,000. Just seeing the crowds that come out every year to lay wreaths… it just ensures it will go on in perpetuity.”

The wreaths are schedule to be retrieved from the cemetery in mid-January.