Thousands of San Diegans helped lay wreaths at five local cemeteries Saturday in part of a nationwide day of remembrance.
Wreaths Across America started as a way to honor fallen soldiers during the holiday season and bring grieving family members comfort, but has grown to include any veteran gravesite with a cross, indicating the Christian faith.
More than 3,000 people attended the event at Miramar National Cemetery where parking spots ran out by 9 a.m., forcing many guests to walk more than a mile or catch a shuttle.
"You place a rock if there's a Star of David for people of Jewish faith, you set a stone on the top of the headstone. And for Christians... you place the wreath which celebrates Christmas which is very appropriate," said Jim Bradford, a Cub Scout leader from Pack 594 in the Del Sur area.
Some of the participating cemeteries include Fort Rosecrans, Miramar National Cemetery, and Greenwood Memorial Park.
Since 2006 the Worcester Wreath Company has donated all of the wreaths.