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WREATH CEREMONY: Community Remembers

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Five Iowa military families are preparing to spend their first holiday without their loved ones who paid the ultimate price fighting for our country.

Army Sgt. Joseph A. Richardson, 23, of Algona, Iowa.  Died 11/16/12.

Marine Master Sgt. Travis Riddick, 40, of Centerville, Iowa. Died 1/19/12.

Army Sgt. James ‘Jamie’ Skalberg, 25, of Emerson, Iowa. Died 6/27/12.

Army Sgt. Michael Ristau, 25, of Cascade, Iowa. Died 7/13/12.

Army Pfc. Brandon Buttry, 19, of Shenandoah, Iowa. Died 11/5/12.

These five will all be honored for their service and sacrifices this holiday season.

Volunteers helped lay wreaths on the graves of veterans resting at Ames municipal cemetery. 

This ceremony was part of an effort to lay 400,000 wreaths at cemeteries across the nation this weekend as part of the Wreaths Across America project. 

The wreaths are specific for each branch of the military.

Each wreath is a reminder of the price these brave men and women pay for our freedoms.

“This gives us the opportunity as a nation to stop, remember, and honor our veterans. A lot of what our veterans do, we take for granted every day,” said volunteer leader, Paul Smith, “This gives us another day so we can remember what they’ve done for us.”

This is the 20th year of the Wreaths Across America program, which originated at Arlington national cemetery.

It’s now grown to more than 750 cemeteries nationwide.