Wreaths were placed at Fort Rosecrans and Miramar National Cemeteries, Greenwood Memorial Park, Valley Center Cemetery and Oak Hill Cemetery in the county. Photo by Chris Stone

Organizers marked National Wreaths Across America Day at more than 2,500 sites, including national cemeteries in San Diego, by safely placing 1.7 million wreaths on the headstones of the fallen.

Volunteers coordinated the effort in every state in the union, and honored the late service members by saying each name out loud while placing a wreath.

The 2020 theme for Wreaths Across America – “Be an American worth fighting for” –  means more to Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America, this year as the organization confronted the pandemic.

“The determination of the American people and their commitment to the mission to remember, honor, teach, made it possible for us to move forward this year, safely,” Worcester said. “We are humbled, and forever grateful for the outpouring of support from all across the country.”

Local national cemeteries in the effort include Fort Rosecrans, where 7,317 wreaths were sponsored, and Miramar, where 8,644 wreaths were sponsored.

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To search the locations of other national cemeteries involved in Wreaths Across America, use the organization’s online tool.

Volunteers are enlisted to place the live balsam veteran’s wreaths, sponsored by private citizens or organizations. Fresh evergreens are regarded as a symbol of honor, serving as living tributes.

Wreaths Across America hopes the tradition also inspires people to pay respect to  veterans and active-duty military and their families.

– Staff reports