HONOLULU (KHON2) — Wreaths Across America Day will be celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 18, nationwide.
This day is a time to remember, honor and teach those who served and have passed. On Saturday, there will be around 2,500 locations participating, including here in Hawaii.
For those who are interested in going to the one on Oahu, Gene Maestas, the public affairs specialist for the National Cemetery of the Pacific, said it is best to register online ahead of time before going.
“We are expecting about 700 volunteers that are going to be assisting us with placing wreaths on Veteran’s gravesites,” said Maestas.
Maestas added that those who come out will be asked to socially distance themselves and wear a mask to comply with their current regulations.
The Oahu ceremony starts at 8:00 a.m. and will be located at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) (HINMCP) — 2177 Puowaina Dr. Honolulu HI 96813.
“Tomorrow there will be five times more people than we typically have had in the past,” explained Maestas. “Which is why parking is going to be a critical issue, and we are recommending that everybody carpool tomorrow.”
Since 2017, Pacific Transfer has helped get wreaths from the mainland to Hawaii for Wreaths Across America Day.
Christopher Redlew, the CEO and president of Pacific Transfer, said they help Oahu and neighbor islands, as well.
“The biggest challenge that they mentioned was the cost of getting the wreaths to Hawaii,” Redlew said. “We know a lot of good people in the industry who are willing to support a cause like this.”
Redlew said he is proud to help this organization, especially because this cause holds close sentiment to his heart.
“Super proud that we have family members who served, so we just want to take the time around Christmas time, and show our love and support for them,” Redlew added.
The Big Island, Kauai and Maui are also holding wreath laying ceremonies on Saturday, Dec.18. Darryl Ng, commander of the Maui County Composite Squadron, said this will be their seccond wreath laying ceremony and he is excited for what is to come.
“We secure donations for almost 1,500 wreaths,” said Ng. “Which is approximately three times the number of last years.”
Ng said anyone can come out and honor the fallen soldiers to take part of this national event.
“We ask that they take a wreath and that they say the deceased name out loud,” Ng explained. “The reason for that is as long as their name is being said they never truly die.”
Get more coronavirus news: COVID vaccines, boosters and Safe Travels information
The Maui ceremony starts at 12:00 p.m. and will be located at the Maui Veterans Cemetery (HIMAUI) — 3361 Baldwin Avenue Makawao, HI 96768.