Fallen veterans honored at Wreaths Across America ceremony in West Monroe

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - People are saying Merry Christmas across the nation and in Northeast Louisiana to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Wreaths Across America is a day where families remember their veterans.

Debbie Mclean says she placed wreaths on many graves, but never on her son's.

"I usually keep it clean, but it's kind of (dirty) with the weather and everything," said Mclean.

"It's my first with my son at my son's grave,” Mclean said. “Yes, very exciting because I've been doing them all in Florida, where I live at."

Her son, David LaDart was in the United States Army. He served for nearly a decade. Mclean says he lost one battle he couldn't fight, which is PTSD.

"I've dealt with it and I'm good with it,” Mclean said. “I know where he's at. I know where I'm going. So, I know he's going to be there."

Today she's remembering him in a special holiday way, by placing a wreath on his grave.

This is an American tradition celebrated every December that started 18 years ago.

Mclean isn't the only one visiting graves.

Kilpatrick's Funeral Home held its ceremony at Serenity Gardens in West Monroe where even our elected officials honored those who served.

Congressman Abraham also paying respects talking the importance of freedom and why the men and woman gave that ultimate sacrifice.

"I think it's important that during the Christmas season we're fortunate and able to honor the veterans behind me," said Abraham. “Our men and women did wonderful work of protecting us in our homeland against terrorist activity,” We must never forget that it's a day we fight."

Something McLean appreciates her son and others for doing.

"Military is close to my heart," said Mclean.

She says ceremonies like these are needed to keep the memory of fallen heroes alive.

Kilpatrick's Serenity Gardens was the first cemetery in North Louisiana to become a memorial site for veterans.