Every December fallen veterans are remembered during ceremonies called "Wreaths Across America." The 12th annual event here in Texas was held at the State Capitol Monday with the wife of American Sniper, Chris Kyle, as the featured guest.
At the Texas State Cemetery Monday, a wreath was place next to the grave site of American Sniper Chris Kyle. It's been three years since his death but each visit has yet to heal the heartache felt by his friends and family.
"Yeah ... I wish it wasn't at his grave,” said Taya Kyle.
The visit to her husband's grave was not Taya Kyle’s main reason for coming to Austin Monday. She was the featured guest for a ceremony to recognize all veterans, and to promote a national observance December 17th.
"As they say in their mission statement, their core values, it’s not about remembering somebody died, its remembering they have a life, they could have done anything, and they chose to serve,” said Kyle.
The ceremony on the south steps of the Texas Capitol was organized by a group called Wreaths Across America. As part of the ceremony, a DPS Honor Guard lead a processional around the Texas Capital to the veterans memorial. Once there Kyle, along with a state delegation, placed the wreath they carried next to the granite stone.
"Ultimately I say a prayer and I thank god for the people that would do the job that most people can’t imagine doing and willingness to give their lives for this country, and I pray for their families and I try to take a minute to just appreciate what that means, the sacrifice of a lot of people who don’t have to do it but choose to do it,” said Kyle.
State Representative Tony Dale, (R) Cedar Park, who served in the Army was also part of the procession.
"I want people to remember, whether you knew a veteran or not, they served some people in their life, may be they were drafted and didn't want to go, maybe they volunteered freely, maybe they stayed 2 years maybe they stayed 20, it doesn't matter all the service whether in war or in peace was valuable to our country to keep us safe,” said Rep. Dale.
On December 17th more wreaths will be placed. That will happen at the Texas State Cemetery. Wreaths will be place on headstones as part of a national observance. The ceremony is open to the public and starts at 11:00.