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Abilene family honors veteran father’s grave with Christmas wreath



ABILENE, TX — More than 2,000 Christmas wreaths arrived in Abilene from Maine on Tuesday to be placed on the headstones of veterans at the Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Abilene.

“The honor that these volunteers are showing these military members…there are no words,” said Jessica Massey, whose father was a veteran.

Jeffery Massey says he came to honor his father, James Massey, who passed away in February.

“My dad’s been my rock, and it’s kind of neat to do something like this, to still remember them,” said Jeffery.

James Massey served in the Navy as a nuclear submarine master.

“Twenty-three years, and he always said 364 days, because he didn’t have that last year by a day,” said Jeffery.

Vicky Fain also wanted to honor her mother who passed away in July.

“I think it’s marvelous, and I’m so glad they let them do it this year. I was worried that they weren’t going to,” said Fain.

Gwen White says she was told to always say out loud the name of the person you are remembering.

“Because that way, the person’s memory never dies,” said White.

Jeffery says events like this one are important to teach younger generations, including his son, what veterans have done for the country.

“The saying always goes, ‘Freedom isn’t free.’ I mean, look around, the dedication that everyone here showed to their country so we could be free,” said Jeffery.

The Masseys say this will become a new family tradition to honor their father.