Osakis will join other communities across the nation in giving a holiday salute to veterans by placing wreaths at their graves on Saturday, Dec. 14.

It's all part of Wreaths Across America, a national nonprofit group that heads up the effort. It will take place at more than 1,500 cemeteries across the U.S.

In Osakis, this year's short ceremony, the fourth annual, will take place at the Armed Forces Memorial starting at noon.

Volunteers will be placing about 470 wreaths in six local cemeteries this year — three more than last year — including: Evergreen, West Evergreen, Calvary, Pleasant Hill, Lakeside and Elim Lutheran.

"So we'll need as much help as we can get from the community!" said Cassie Mead, quartermaster for the Osakis VFW Post 7902.

The three primary goals for the effort are:

  • To remember the fallen veterans through the holiday season.
  • To honor those who served and those who still serve.
  • To teach the younger generations that there is a cost to the freedom Americans have.

Anyone wishing to help place wreaths following the ceremony should dress warmly, Mead said. "We'll move as a group from the Armed Forces Memorial through each of the larger cemeteries to place the wreaths. All are welcome."

Last year's group of volunteers consisted of young children all the way up to a 90-year-old Korean War veteran.