ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Families all across the Big Country gathered at the Texas State Veterans Cemetery to pay tribute to their loved ones who served in the military with Wreaths Across America. The placing of the wreath in the tombstone symbolizes a sacrifice made for freedom.

Frank Johnson, son of Navy Veteran Harvey Johnson, said he attends every year, but this year is special. For the first time, he gets to lay a wreath on his late father’s final resting place.

“He was in the navy during World War II toured the pacific”, said Johnson.

His dad passed away in April of this year. Now, Johnson is thankful his dad is laid to rest alongside other American heroes.

“This is a beautiful place ideal for any veteran. It’s well set up. Well cared for. It’s an honor for the Abilene community,” Johnson expressed.

Mike Hernandez, Guest speaker and Texas State Veterans Commission Board Member, said the wreaths are a symbol of honor for veterans.

“As wreaths across America simply puts it – remember, honor, teach,” said Hernandez.

Johnson emphasized how important it is to teach others of community events like this.

“We need to continue to share that with the younger generation,” Johnson explained. “So we don’t take things for granted. We’re very blessed here. Our country is blessed.”

The Texas State Veterans Cemetery is one of more than 3,000 locations in the U.S honoring local heroes. Many families were emotional laying the wreaths and when talking about the impact their loved ones had.