Gold Star Families will join military personnel, veterans and community supporters at several Wreaths Across America ceremonies set for Dec. 16 in the local area. The events pay respect to fallen service members and remind surviving loved ones that their sacrifice is never forgotten, particularly during the holiday season.

Angela Bellamy, Fort Lee Survivor Outreach Services coordinator, is assisting Richmond Gold Star Mothers for ceremonies at Sunset Memorial Park, 2901 W. Hundred Road, Chester; and Blandford Cemetery, 319 South Crater Road, Petersburg. Both start at noon.

Other ceremonies will take place at City Point National Cemetery, Hopewell, 11 a.m.; and Virginia Veterans Cemetery, 10300 Pridesville Road, Amelia Court House, noon.

Wreaths Across America started as a grassroots effort in 2007 to remember those willing to serve and sacrifice. Its mission is to “Remember, Honor and Teach” and its activities are carried out by thousands of volunteers who coordinate ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery as well as over 1,200 locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.

Numerous corporate and industry donors also have stepped through the years to honor more veterans. The national theme for 2017 is “I’m an American. Yes, I am.”

“We are not here to decorate graves,” emphasized Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA on the organization’s website. “We’re celebrating service to our nation and the lives of our fallen sons, daughters, moms and dads.”

To read more about the organization and the activities planned for mid-December, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.