By Staff

BROCKTON (CBS) — Community members gathered in Brockton to honor veterans at Melrose Cemetery in a special way on Saturday. Dozens planned to lay wreaths on veterans’ gravestones.

The annual tradition was started seven years ago by Mary Waldron, who was inspired by her late husband.

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“My husband was a strong supporter of the military. He was not a military man but he was a strong supporter because of the rights and privileges that we have so seven years ago we came up with the idea of Operations Wreaths for Veterans,” she said. “Many of them have family members who aren’t able to get there and we felt it was part of our duty to pick up where others could not get to.”

Operations Wreaths for Veterans (Courtesy Photo)

Some volunteers were even coming down from New Hampshire.

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Volunteers will be doing things differently this year: instead of using real wreaths, the group has 75 imitation wreaths that can be used in the future.

They will place a wreath by a grave, pause for a moment of silence, then pick it up and move to the next, to make sure all of the veterans are recognized.

Waldron said even though her husband can’t be here to see this tribute, she knows he’d be proud of the work they are doing.

“He always just checked in with people and there’s different ways that we can check in- by phone, text, social media- in this case, it was so important that we check in with veterans – not just Veterans Day, Memorial Day, but throughout the holidays and throughout the year,” said Waldron.

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