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story.lead_photo.caption Wreaths are placed on the graves of veterans buried at the National Cemetery during a past Wreaths for Heroes event. Photo by Mark Wilson / News Tribune.

Wreaths for Heroes, a local commemoration of military veterans' sacrifices, will mark its 10th anniversary Dec. 14.

The program, which was started by former Jefferson City Jays Football Coach Pete Adkins and his late wife, Lorraine, deploys legions of volunteers to place artificial wreaths on the 1,587 grave sites at the Jefferson City National Cemetery.

The wreaths will be unloaded from trucks early Dec. 14 and taken to the National Cemetery around 8:45 a.m. Volunteers will begin placing them on grave sites at 9 a.m.

The wreaths, which cost $10 and last about three years, will be removed and stored Jan. 20.

For more information about Wreaths for Heroes or to volunteer, call Don Hentges, president of the Jefferson City Veterans Council, at 573-619-9880.

Later the same day, veterans buried at Hawthorn Memorial Gardens will be honored as part of a Wreaths Across America program.

Wreaths Across America began in 1992 when grave markers at Arlington National Cemetery were decorated with holiday wreaths. National interest spread the concept until 2007, when the organization formed as a nonprofit to "remember, honor and teach."

Locally, veterans buried at Hawthorn Memorial Gardens, 4205 Horner Road, will be honored at 11 a.m. with a ceremony.

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