NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – Last December, Wreaths Across America laid more than two million wreaths to remember veterans who served.

This year, the organization is hoping to do the same, but sites across the nation are struggling to get enough wreaths to cover every headstone, one of those locations being New Bern National Cemetery.

To honor every service member this December, New Bern’s Wreaths Across America still needs more than 5,000 wreaths sponsored.

“We’re about five thousand short right now, which sounds like an incredible number. But this week being Veterans Day (Friday) and then we’re rolling into the holidays, people are starting to think about that sort of thing, but we’ll see a really big push over the next couple of weeks, but we need everyone’s help,” said Wreaths Across America New Bern Coordinator Kevin Yates.

Each year, volunteers like Yates work to put wreaths on as many headstones as possible in the New Bern National Cemetery, a site with more than 6,000 markers, including nearly a thousand unknown graves.

“So, there’s a slogan that a person dies twice. First, physically, and then the second time, the last time their name is read out loud. So, as we place a wreath, we place a wreath and then we say the person’s name out loud to keep their memory alive. And it’s just another way for Wreaths Across America to continue to honor and remember those veterans,” Yates said.

It is a way to remember a veteran’s service, thank their family, and give back to the community. One veteran volunteer said laying the wreaths is always an emotional moment.

“It’ll cause you to tear up, especially when you leave the wreath, stand up, and read the name, say the name out loud and give it a hand salute. It’ll choke you up,” said volunteer Jack Olmstead.

For those who want to donate, more information about sponsoring a wreath can be found here.

New Bern’s Wreaths Across America will host a donation event on Saturday. More information on the event can be found here.

For those interested in getting involved, click here for the New Bern Wreaths Across America Facebook page.