(WTVM) - Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has joined veterans and their families to kick off a week of activities honoring those who served in the military.
Bentley participated in a ceremony at the capitol Monday to start Wreaths Across America.
It's a weeklong observance that ends Saturday with volunteers placing an estimated 400,000 wreaths on the graves of veterans nationwide, including the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, Ala.
Bentley said there are 450,000 veterans in Alabama, which is nearly one-tenth of the state, and it's important to remember during the holidays that America would not be free without its veterans.
"I think it's very special to honor our fallen heroes, our fallen veterans who gave their life for the freedoms we enjoy in this country," said Gov. Bentley. "As I said in the first sentence and I say this in almost every speech that I give, America would not be free if it weren't for veterans."
The Wreaths Across America tradition started in 2006. More than 600 locations in all fifty states are laying wreaths this week.