Area officials joined about 70 residents Dec. 8 at the Louisiana State Archives Building on Essen Lane to kick off the Wreaths Across America program.

The 2014 Statehouse Wreath Laying Ceremony was sponsored by the John James Audubon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

State capitols across the country kicked off Wreaths Across America events by placing a wreath at each state capitol. The Baton Rouge event was held at the State Archives Building and not at the State Capitol Rotunda due to construction at the Louisiana State Capitol, a news release said.

The program included a color guard presentation, song by vocalist Janice Johnson, a moment of silence, veteran thank you remarks and dedication of the wreath.

The guest speaker Brigadier Gen. Dorothy Pocklington, Army Nurse Corps, retired.

The wreath was presented in memory of those who served and are serving in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines, and in honor of the U.S. Servicemen from all branches of the service whose last known address was either Prisoners of War or Missing in Action, the release said.

“The wreath also represents our commitment as a United America to remember the fallen,” Geraldine B. Ryder, regent with the John James Audubon Chapter of the DAR, said. “We also want this holiday wreath to symbolize our honor to those who have served and are serving in the armed forces of our great nation and to their families who endure sacrifices every day on our behalf.”