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Teen Honors Veterans During Wreaths Across America Day

Wreaths Across America Day is a holiday tradition that started in 1992 as a way to remember those who served.
Posted at 7:43 AM, Dec 22, 2022

Every third Saturday in December, volunteers in communities across the country place wreaths at the headstones of veterans.

At the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, California, more than 1,400 volunteers took part in a ceremony led by 15-year-old Lyndsey Jacobsen. Jacobsen serves as youth legacy president of the Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapter of Greater Sacramento, and said she, along with the chapter's vice president, worked to collect donations for more than 2,000 wreaths this year.

"Our total count ended up being 2,115 wreaths. That was up from three months ago when I took over — they were only at 600 wreaths," said Jacobsen.

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But Jacobsen wanted to take it a step further, setting a goal to honor veterans with a flyover.

"I ended up getting a T-6 flyover, a four-ship with a missing man formation," she said.

The teen first began working with Wreaths Across America through her civil air patrol squadron. She's been flying since age 12 and says it's her dream to someday attend the Air Force Academy and graduate with a pilot slot.

In the meantime, she enjoys going to air shows, meeting pilots and veterans, and hearing their stories.

"It was Oshkosh that first year when I was able to meet Bud Anderson and really get that connection with a World War II vet," Jacobsen said.

She is a World War IIbuff who loves learning about history and said leading up to the ceremony she spent hours reading about each veteran in the cemetery.

"Of course, every veteran is a person, but it made me truly realize that every veteran has a family, every veteran has someone who remembers and misses them and is thankful for their service. We were going to have an area in our ceremony that said 'notable mentions,' and after going through that, I was like 'OK, every veteran is a notable mention,'" said Jacobsen.

She also says she hopes to become the youngest female to fly solo across the world.