By Joann Shin
KANEOHE (KHNL) - At the Hawaii State Cemetery, a tradition that began at Arlington National Cemetery, reaches Hawaii.
For the last 15 years, a wreath company in Maine has made this an annual tribute.
"He donates in excess of 5000 wreaths and young school children from Maine assist in placing the wreaths in the various graves at Arlington," explained veteran Allen Hoe.
Hoe made sure the special delivery arrived in Hawaii.
He lost his son, Army 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe in January 2005.
He was killed, while in Iraq.
"They called me, if they sent the wreath, would we place it at my son's grave on December 14th. Absolutely," said Hoe.
Hoe asked for five more wreaths to honor other young veterans who had made the ultimate sacrifice.
Instead they gave him more than a dozen.
He said, "Where we could bless 14 soldiers and marines who lost their lives in the War on Terrorism."
Students from Windward Adventist School, laid wreaths on each grave.
"Merry Christmas Josh!"
And then a holiday wish followed.
Hoe said, "If the rest of these young soldiers were like my son, Christmas was a huge day for them. So we wish them all a Merry Christmas!"
Holidays can be a difficult time for families who've lost a loved one.
But days like this make it easier.
"It's horribly sad, but what helps us get through the day is remembering the joyous time, the good times," explained Hoe.