BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For many, it’s an everyday practice; remembering those that selflessly gave their all for this country.
“These men do brave things every day,” says Gold Star Mother, Janice McCurdy. “You never know when your child may be called to take the next step and be someone that gives their life for someone else.”
McCurdy says her son died in 2006 while saving another Marine in Fallujah, Iraq. She says it’s her goal to honor him for what his works.
To make sure no-one forgets, “Wreaths Across America”, an annual national ceremony that began in Arlington, Texas, pays tribute to members of the armed forces.
Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana, Chapter 1 hosted the nationwide ceremony at Baton Rouge National Cemetery Saturday morning.
“The main reason why 'Wreaths' was started was too, remember, honor and teach,” says Sunny Senft, President of Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana, Chapter 1. “Remember the fallen, honor the veterans currently serving and teach our children the sacrifices these veterans have made.”
Thousands of gravestones in the Baton Rouge National Cemetery were given due credit with a wreath.
“It's remembering,” says Gold Star Mother, Dawn Conrad. “It's remembering what these men and women did for us so, that we can stand here.” Marine Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad was among four Marines killed in a helicopter crash in California.
Gold Star Mother, Theresa Sandoval says each ceremony she's attended over the last six years brings a sense of healing. She says her son followed family tradition and served.
“It's things like this that keep me moving forward,” Sandoval says. “It's things like this that make me put that foot out of bed and keeping going every day because I know there's someone out there that's remembering my son.”
Senft says each ribbon tied to a wreath is a symbol of loss and remembrance, “We want them to in every way that they can remember their loved one,” says Senft. “We can remember them as well as Blue Star families. We just don't want anyone to feel forgotten.”
Families of fallen heroes say every day isn't easy but making sure service members are remembered is their new purpose.
“I live with it every day. I don't know that it gets any easier, but I’m proud of him and I’m proud of his choices,” Sandoval says.
Members of BSM say with almost 5,200 veterans buried in the cemetery they weren’t able to raise enough money to lay a wreath on every grave site. They sold over 2,300 wreaths, a record number.
Next year, organizers say, they want everyone remembered and a wreath on every grave site.