Photos by Fay Wallin Hearts Over America A record-breaking foot of snow fell a few days before, and a cold rain that day crusted the snow covering. After taps came a reverential silence at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. Then as the 2,000 wreaths were laid on the veterans’ tombstones, the sharp crunch of boots and shoes was the only sound. “It was very respectful, very quiet,” says Fay Wallin of the Red Wing Lions Club. “Everyone realized we were in a special place.” Red Wing Lions and other groups laid the wreaths 26 LION FEBRUAR Y 2014 in December 2012, a ceremony undertaken in the holiday season to underscore the notion that the sacrifice of veterans is not forgotten even at Christmas time. The ceremony was part of Wreaths Across Amer-ica, held in every state and 20 overseas cemeteries. The tradition dates to 1992 when Morrill Worchester, the owner of a wreath company in Maine, placed surplus wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. The practice caught on nationally after a photo of the decorated graves went viral.