Fallen heroes are being honored across the country. Austin residents participated at the Texas State Cemetery by placing a Christmas wreath at each veteran's headstone.
A celebration of life - it's all part of the 25th annual National Wreaths Across America Day. It's celebrated on the third weekend of December. This year it fell on December 17.
"All of them have their own story. Sometimes we get caught up in our own life and our own personal story; to look outward at someone else is very, very moving," says Kurt Knauth, Regents School of Austin, Troop 25.
Members of the Austin community sponsored 2,900 wreaths. Regents School of Austin, Troop 25, helped make that possible. They raised enough money for 1,000 wreaths.
"We're all so busy we forget about the sacrifice people make for us. It's good to come out here and remember the people who've given everything they have," says Coley Cowden, Troop 25.
The non-profit, Wreaths Across America, encourages volunteers to say the veteran's name aloud and take a moment to thank them for their service. It's a small act that goes a long way toward keeping their memory alive.
The mission to remember, honor and teach is carried out through coordinating ceremonies in more than 1,100 locations. The Austin community held theirs on Monday at the steps of the State Capitol.
"Its not about remembering somebody died, its remembering they have a life. They could have done anything and they chose to serve," says Taya Kyle, widow of Chris Kyle.
The wife of American Sniper Chris Kyle was the featured guest at the ceremony. A DPS honor guard lead a processional to the veterans memorial where Taya Kyle then helped place a wreath next to the granite stone.
"I want people to remember that whether you knew a veteran or not, they served some people in their life. Maybe they were drafted and didn't want to go, maybe they volunteered freely, maybe they stayed two 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," says State Representative Tony Dale, (R) Cedar Park, Army veteran.