El Paso, Fort Bliss communities remember late veterans during Wreaths Across America


In 2006, one man’s tribute to veterans in Maine sparked a national event commemorating fallen heroes all across the country each December.

More than 500 El Pasoans gathered at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery on Saturday morning to lay wreaths on the grave sites of our community’s late service members as part of Wreaths Across America.

“This represents honor and respect for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy,” veteran and volunteer Juan Salas told KTSM.

Past, present, and future military members participated in the 12th annual event.

“We need to honor the veterans who have served,” PFC Rocco Bongiorno of the Young Marines said, “they are heroes because they didn’t come back; they sacrificed their lives to serve our country.”

According to organizers, about 38,000 service members rest in the Fort Bliss National Cemetery, but only about 5,300 wreaths were placed at this year’s event.

“It’s a small percentage that we get to place wreaths on,” Debbie Torres said. “Our dream…is to get a wreath for every grave.”

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