FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina are asking for donations to help buy wreaths to place on fallen veterans’ gravestones at Florence National Cemetery.

The cause is for the Annual Wreaths Across America Program.

16,000 veterans are buried at Florence National Cemetery. Carol Dion, the president of Blue Star Mothers, said they only have 3,400 wreaths and need more.

“If the village doesn’t contribute then we couldn’t make it work,” she said. “But the Grand Strand area is a village.”

Wreaths Across America honors fallen veterans who have served in the military by placing wreaths on gravestones.

Each December, people from across the country participate in the program. Dion said Blue Star Mothers has helped sponsor wreaths for 13 years, and last year was the very first time they were able to place one at every single grave.

She said they need more wreaths for the unfortunate realities.

“As our World War II veterans are almost all gone, now the Vietnam veterans the Korean War veterans, you know, are getting up there in age,” Dion said. “The cemetery is filling faster and faster.”

She said wreath prices have gone up from $15 to $17, but added that’s not a lot compared to what we already purchase on a day-to-day.

“Some of us spend that much at McDonald’s, so instead of going to McDonald’s next Friday, you know, buy a wreath for Wreaths Across America,” Dion said.

Dion said that before last year when she’d walk into the cemetery with the wreaths on her arms, she’d have to make a tough choice.

“Who gets one and who doesn’t? You have to make that decision,” she said. “I don’t want to have to make that decision. I just want to grab wreaths and just put them on every single grave as I go along until everybody’s got one.”

She said she can’t continue to make that hard decision for Americans who risked their lives for their country.

“These are the people that served in the United States armed forces for you and me and everybody else,” Dion said. “Whether they were in a conflict or they weren’t, it doesn’t make any difference.”

Blue Star Mothers is co-sponsoring a pig roast on Oct. 22 to raise money for wreaths. With a purchase, it’s all-you-can-eat.

For more information, click here.

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Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.