Wreaths Across America comes to Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Wreaths Across America comes to Carson City

Gwen Hopper places a Christmas wreath next to a grave marker of a veteran on Wednesday at Lone Mountain cemetery.
Jim Grant | Nevada Appeal

The program to lay wreaths on the graves of veterans at cemeteries across the U.S. came to Carson City on Wednesday.

Carl Hopper and his sister-in-law convinced the organization Wreaths Across America to provide 100 wreaths here so they could be placed on veterans’ graves at Lone Mountain Cemetery.

The first wreath they laid was on the grave of Major Walter Alfred Johnson, a veteran of World War II and 21 years of service.

Johnson’s widow, Betty, and daughters Cathy and, Hopper’s wife, Gwen braved the freezing rain and spitting snow at Lone Mountain Cemetery to lay wreaths.

Hopper got the idea after attending last year’s Wreaths Across American ceremony at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley.

“When I was leaving, I tried to take an extra wreath to place on my father in law’s grave here in Carson City and was told the wreaths could not leave the cemetery,” Hopper said.

So he and his family started working with organizers of the Fernley event and were given wreaths to place at Lone Mountain.

Since there are more than 100 veterans buried at Lone Mountain, they spread the wreaths out across the field. Hopper said he hopes to join the nationwide list of more than 1,200 cemeteries where the organization places wreaths in honor of veterans next year and gets one for every veteran there.

This year, organizers placed wreaths at 1,228 locations nationwide, a total of 1.2 million wreaths, last Saturday. Nearly a quarter of that total, 245,000, were placed at the Arlington National Cemetery. The wreaths are all donated by citizens and organizations and placed on the graves by volunteers as a gesture of gratitude for the freedoms Americans enjoy. Wreaths Across America say they represent a living memorial to honor veterans, active duty military and their families.