VALLEY CENTER, Calif. (KGTV) - On Memorial Day, a North County woman resumed her mission: To deliver roses to local military gravesites.
At Valley Center Cemetery on Monday morning, there was a rose by every other name. On this Memorial Day, Jenelle Brinneman and 20 volunteers put down roses at some 300 military grave markers in the cemetery.
“It’s pretty amazing to see. It’s emotional for all of us,” said a tearful Brinneman.
It all began two Memorial Days ago, when a nonprofit stopped laying roses at national cemeteries because of the pandemic. Someone called Brinneman, a florist, and asked for donations for a person whose family member is buried at Miramar National Cemetery.
"These are our heroes that did so much for us. Remembering them is so important to everyone,” said Brinneman.
Brinneman says after an ABC 10News story about her efforts, donations poured in. Volunteers stepped up.
“So something very little became something very large within a couple of days,” said Brinneman.
Two years later, her ‘Roses for Veterans’ campaign remains in full bloom.
Over the weekend, some 150 volunteers prepped and distributed 3,000 roses and 40 bouquets at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Miramar National Cemetery.
In Valley Center, among the hundreds of grave markers with a rose, is the plot of WWII veteran, Army pilot George Armstrong.
“Makes my heart full to know someone else is taking time to recognize these amazing men and women and what they've done,” said Amy Oney, Armstrong’s granddaughter.
“They deserve to be respected. Something as simple a gesture as a rose goes so far,” said Brinneman.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help with the current and future campaigns.
Brinneman hopes to expand her ‘Roses for Veterans’ campaign by starting a nonprofit that can help chapters across the country do the same thing in their area.