At Niles Union Cemetery there was a ceremonial wreath laying ceremony for all branches of the military including the Marines, Army, Navy, Airforce, U.S. Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, Prisoners of War and Space Force.

Police officers and firefighters who serve Valley communities were also honored. Niles Mayor's Veteran's Advisory Board Chairman Derek Rieser explained the importance of this ceremony.
 
"It honors all veterans, those who made the ultimate sacrifice. And it's A a way to teach our youth and the next generation the value of freedom and someday, it's up to them to continue to fight for the freedoms that we have," Rieser said.
 
Over 60 student athletes from Niles opened boxes and placed wreathes and stands near veterans' graves. A dad who got involved because his son's football coach is a veteran and a local VFW member.  He agrees this is an important teaching event for teens.
 
"Kids don't realize a lot of the luxuries they have have been afforded by veterans and what they've done in the past to make this country what it is so I think it's important kids get to see firsthand what actually takes place," said Mike Burns.
 
After the ceremony folks set up the wreath stands, looked at the name of the veteran who was laid to rest and which branch or war they served in. Stephanie Furano whose dad Richard Furano served in the Army during the Korean War asked Niles Mayor Steven Mientkiewicz to help bring the tradition here to Niles in 2021. This year they had 1,212 wreathes.
 
"We had 1.053 wreathes our very first year that was sponsored, and this is our third year, and I'm proud to say we have increased every year since and I'm hopeful to get 1600 next year," Stephanie said.
 
The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans in Niles assist with Wreaths Across American Niles event. Mission Barbecue and Sunbelt Rentals and also raise money for the wreathes.
 
To donate click here.