MARIETTA, Ga. — A U.S. veteran in Marietta who says he needs your help is making an urgent push to ensure veterans buried at the national cemetery there are honored for the holidays.
Currently, less than 30% of the tombstones will have wreaths on them.
There are more than 19,000 headstones at the Marietta National Cemetery, and 3,000 of them mark the graves of unknown soldiers. Army Veteran Tim Lemming wants to see each one of them honored.
"It's awe, it's awe when you see all these tombstones, and know the stories that are behind each and every one of them. It's Civil War to now. It's a beautiful place to come," he said.
He said he goes there when he needs space to think and reflect on the sacrifice of service.
"Unknown U.S. solider from the Civil War buried next to a World War I guy who's buried next to a World War II guy. Just think of the history that's in this place," Lemming said.
But he said historically, the veterans buried at Marietta National Cemetery have not all been honored on the holidays.
"They served. The country called and they came. Some here died on duty, while serving, some died after service, and they need to be remembered," he said.
Wreaths Across America is nonprofit organization that asks people to donate $15 per wreath, to be laid on the graves of veterans in national cemeteries all over the country.
Lemming said the larger National Cemetery in Canton often overshadows the older and smaller cemetery in Marietta.
"This place deserves recognition too, Canton almost always has 100% of their tombstones covered, full of wreaths," he said. "And Marietta, not so much."
He wants the memories of each of the veterans buried in Marietta to shine.
"We lay a wreath and say a prayer and we remember them, they need to be remembered," he said.
He's hoping that by the time they lay the wreaths on Dec. 17, each man and woman who served and who is buried at Marietta National Cemetery will be honored.