KILLEEN, Texas — Thousands of people gathered Saturday morning at the Central Texas Veterans Cemetery to lay wreaths on the headstones of fallen soldiers. 

The event began 13 years ago after Hilary Shine and her mother-in-law participated in Wreaths Across America. 

In the ceremony's inaugural year, there were 300 graves but only six wreaths.

The pair said they wanted to make sure every monument was honored. 

More and more volunteers have participated with each passing year. 

This year, over 9,000 wreaths were laid in the cemetery. 

Veterans and active duty soldiers in attendance said they felt humbled to see how many people came out to support them. 

Family and friends of the fallen were emotional knowing people with no ties to service members were laying wreaths.

The wreaths will be laid on the monuments throughout the holiday season and will be retrieved on Jan. 10, 2020. 

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