Veterans honored during the holiday season

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) -- The “Wreaths Across America” ceremony honors veterans across the country this weekend, including those in Brown County.

“I know we do it on Veterans Day and we have Memorial Day, but particularly during the holidays when we're all here celebrating with our families, it's important to remember that our veteran sacrifices have made that possible,” says Rep. Mike Gallagher, (R) Wisconsin.

Freezing cold temperatures couldn’t stop veterans from coming out this weekend, saying their brothers and sisters have experience so much more through their days of service.

“What I thought about was the Korean War, where we had the Frozen Chosen,” says Sgt. John Stradford, United States Marines Corps. “And I was like, 'It's nothing to actually stand out here in the frozen cold, because the reason we're out here now is for those that had life threatening wounds, and those who gave their lives for temperatures far below what we're experiencing today.'”

The “Wreaths Across America” ceremony honors all branches of the military, laying wreaths at dozens of locations across the United States, in recognition of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“As far as all the services being here, it's not often that we're all at the same place at once,” Sgt. Stradford says. “But we all serve and we all have the same fight. So whenever we have something like this, it's a chance for each one of the services to honor the men and women who came before us, and that's why we are here today.”

Above all, the event works to send a positive message to veterans – and those they serve.

“It's easy to take what we have here for granted. We live in an incredible country, for all its problems, it's still the greatest country in the history of the Earth,” says Rep. Gallagher. “Something as simple as going to the store at Christmastime and shopping for your family, well it doesn't come free.”

The ceremony took place on Saturday, outside the Brown County Veterans Memorial.