RALEIGH, N.C. -- Hundreds of people paid their respects to the veterans buried in Oakwood Cemetery with a special gift before Christmas.

  • Volunteers laid more than 1,100 wreaths
  • Many living veterans came out to pay their respects to the dead as well
  • To find out more about the national effort, click here

Volunteers laid more than 1,100 wreaths at Oakwood as part of Wreaths Across America on Saturday. The non-profit event honors veterans at cemeteries throughout the country, including Oakwood.

"The community around here cares. They understand the sacrifices our armed services make, and it's just an honor to be here," said James Glenn, who planned Oakwood's Wreaths Across America event.

Many living veterans came out to pay their respects to the dead as well. Mike Jannicelli, a Vietnam Air Force vet who lives in Raleigh, says it's also a chance for the living veterans to share stories and make friendships.

"Sometimes it takes an event like this for a veteran to come out and talk to another veteran," said Jannicelli. "You could be wearing your cap and you'll see a lot of veterans that are proud to wear their caps."

Jannicelli added that the event gives him comfort he will also have a wreath after he dies.

"No matter how you pass on, it's great to know that they will remember," said Jannicelli. "It's good. I appreciate it."

Oakwood says they hope to have enough wreaths for all 2,300 veterans buried there for next year's Wreaths Across America.

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