Photo: Wreaths lay on the graves of fallen service members at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on Dec. 15, 2012. The Wreaths Across America event has been canceled for 2020. (Photo by E.J. Hersom)
On Monday, it was announced that the annual wreath-laying at gravesites scheduled for December 19, 2020, was canceled “with great regret” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced the reversal of that decision on social media:
Secretary of the Army, Hon. Ryan D. McCarthy also confirmed the event will take place.
Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker said, “Kudos to the U.S. Army for deciding to proceed safely with Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery. This ceremony provides military families, veterans, and members of the public with an important opportunity to remember those who have served our nation.”
According to Military.com, in discussions with the Joint Task Force National Capital Region, “[Arlington National Cemetery] determined that it could not implement sufficient controls to mitigate the risks associated [with hosting the event] while still conducting a respectful and honorable public event,” it said in a statement.
“We did not make this decision lightly,” said Karen Durham-Aguilera, the cemetery’s executive director. “Despite the controls developed to disperse potential crowds in time and space, and required personal safety protocols, we determined that hosting any event of this scale risked compromising our ability to accomplish our core mission of laying veterans and their eligible family members to rest.”
Click here to learn more about Wreaths Across America.
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