A woman is taking it upon herself to blanket the Coachella Valley Cemetery with over 1,000 wreaths for veterans, ahead of the big day. In fact, Susie Del Toro has been placing 1,500 wreaths, one for each veteran, at the cemetery on Memorial Day for the last four years. A deed that she has done at her own expense because she feels it is a small token to show how thankful she is for our veterans.
“It’s just a small token on behalf of myself and my sons.”
Susie Del Toro is a widow of a first reconnaissance Vietnam veteran, who has dedicated her life to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
“There’s 1,500 veterans buried here at the Coachella Valley Cemetery, and I have 600 wreaths.”
Susie gathers 1,500 wreaths as part of her Freedom Flags For Families project every Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Christmas day. A wreath is put on top of their tombstone and, now that Memorial Day is just around the corner, Susie is going to have a lot of work on her hands to get 900 more wreaths up before the big day.
“I get them at Hobby Lobby, Walmart, I go to yard sales, I go to thrift stores, wherever I can find the wreaths.”
This is surely an act of kindness that does not go unnoticed by her community. An act that is motivated by her late husband, veteran Trino Del Toro.
“He was the love of my life. Besides that, I mean I remember him through all of the work he did.”
In 1989, Del Toro worked to change the name of the Coachella Park to the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Park.
“And they did a welcome home parade for all the veterans that didn’t get a welcome home and thy had a flyby. His name and his picture is at the monument at the new park in Coachella.”
Now she carries on his legacy by celebrating veterans, each and every day.
“It’s not a chore, it’s not a duty, it’s a pleasure doing this for them.”
However, she is not alone in this feat.
“Now I have a lot of volunteers. The Boys and Girls Club of La Quinta, the Coachella Valley Cemetery staff are a big support.”
A community who is united, and led by Susie, to honor our veterans.
“On behalf of my family, I want to thank the veterans for their services.”
If you would like to make a donation to help Susie get 900 more wreaths up before Memorial Day, feel free to email or call her. You can find her information below.
Susie Del Toro