HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Nationwide organizations honored those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. In Huntington, some of the younger members of the community joined in on this annual tradition.

There are many youth military programs all over Cabell County and every year, members gather at Spring Hill Cemetary to lay wreaths for the area’s fallen soldiers.

Like many organizations nationwide, members of the Air Force JROTC, Huntington High School ROTC, and Civil Air Patrol once again participated in the “Wreaths Across America” program. This year, they were able to purchase 367 wreaths which found homes all over the cemetery.

For some residents, this time of year hits close to home.

I lost a first cousin in Vietnam, that era. I’ve lost several friends of mine as I toured overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Chester Adkins, Blue Knights of West Virginia/Veteran

Local veteran Chester Adkins says seeing so many young people at an event like this brings him “joy.”

The pandemic did affect the number of wreaths purchased this year, but the number of volunteers ready to place them has remained consistent, no matter the weather.

Rain or shine, we come out here and we honor those veterans locally.

Megan Luke, “Wreaths Across America” Local Coordinator

There are a little more than 6,000 veteran graves in the cemetery and organizers of this event say their goal next year is to purchase a wreath to place in front of each tombstone.