Hundreds of wreaths placed at Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery
KEITHVILLE, La. (KSLA) - On Friday, Dec. 10, family, friends and volunteers gathered at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery to lay wreaths at the graves ahead of the holidays.
Kayla Thamesberge was one of the dozens who attended. Her parents were buried at the cemetery yesterday. She says her father served in the Navy during World War II.
“There are no words,” said Thamesberge. “I had never been here before this. It’s particularly meaningful given the day. I am happy to be here and it brings me some comfort and joy.”
Those who maintain the cemetery say the event almost didn’t happen this year due to supply chain issues, but when they put the word out to the community, thousands responded.
“Today is a day that I have mixed emotions about,” said Don Howard, director of the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery. “There is joy in seeing our community show up in a way I have never experienced. The last three weeks we were inventorying our wreaths and we came to a point that we realized we didn’t have enough. We started making provision to order more, but between chain supply issues and other ordering them as well, we came upon some challenges.
“We placed an order, the order went through, and then 15 minutes later we got an email saying the order was cancelled due to no supply. We put out a plea on Facebook in order to ensure these veterans are recognized and over 14,000 people viewed it. The ArkLaTex community showed up. People from all over the country were reaching out asking what they could do. One of my major emotions is joy seeing the best of our community. As a veteran myself who has friends and former colleagues buried here, my father-in-law is buried here in August, when I come here and see these hallowed grounds it puts me in a somber mood. But when I see our community, young people in-particular, out here honoring our veterans, there is so much positive emotion.”
Many, like Thamesberge, say they are thankful to the cemetery for continuing to honor veterans and their families.
“We’re grateful to the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery for providing this opportunity and for all the veterans cemeteries around the world,” said Thamesberge. “They take such good care of Americans.”
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