Thousands lay wreaths at Veterans Cemetery in Fernley

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FERNLEY, Nev. (KOLO) - It was a morning of appreciation and gratitude. Nearly 2000 people showed up to lay wreaths. Organizers say this has been the biggest turnout for Wreaths Across America.

More than 1,800 cemeteries nationwide participate in the event. Locally, at the Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, more than 8,000 wreaths were laid.

"It's a privilege to be able to do this and an honor to remember the veterans," says Tom Draughon with the Nevada Veterans Coalition.

Draughon adds the number of wreaths placed at the Fernley cemetery is quite an accomplishment.

During the first year of the event in town, only 28 wreaths were placed. It wasn't until 5 years ago that there were enough wreaths to put at every headstone. Draughon says this event is all about respect and understanding.

"It's about the veterans that are out here and the opportunity for the young people, kids, grandkids, and realize that every grave out here represents a life given in service to America."

Draughon, as a living veteran, says it is a special thing to see so many people paying their respects.

"I hope they walk away with a great feeling. Their hearts are pounding and I hope they feel real good about what they just did today."