Sullivan County family honors soldiers by laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery

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SULLIVAN Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — For one day every December, fallen soldiers are remembered on National Wreaths Across America Day.

Robert Phillips, of Sullivan County, said he was inspired to take part over a decade ago.

“I saw the iconic 2005 pictures of Wreaths Across America down at Arlington with the snow cover and the wreaths and everything. It was just absolutely beautiful. I went home and showed my wife and we talked about it,” he said.

Phillips said part of his time at Arlington National Cemetery is spent supporting friends.

“I have a good friend that has since retired, and his uncle is buried out there. So, that is always our first stop to lay a wreath there and take pictures to send back home to him,” said Phillips.

In addition to making new ones, by visiting their loved ones in their place.

“I was talking to one of the waitresses at the restaurant we were at and her father was buried there in 1993. He was in the Marine Corps and they never made it back out. We took pictures and sent them back to her. She was very grateful. So we probably made a friend for life,” Phillips said.

According to Phillips, his time spent honoring soldiers in this way is a small gesture for their great sacrifice.

“Arlington is 426 acres of the most hallowed, sacred ground in this nation as far as i’m concerned. Those that are entombed there, that’s the least I can do is travel 12 hours one way,” he said.

This year’s National Wreaths Across America Day took place on December 14.

Ceremonies are held at over 2,000 locations across the country and the world.

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