The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery and the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home Cemetery this year.
“We did not make this decision lightly,” said Karen Durham-Aguilera, executive director, Office of Army National Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery in a release. “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.”
The events had been set to take place on Dec. 19.
“Our strong hope is to be able to resume hosting this great event next year in 2021,” said ANC Superintendent Charles “Ray” Alexander.
Two million volunteers laid wreaths at cemeteries across the nation during last year’s event.
Durham-Aguilera added that various options to safely execute the events were reviewed. Numerous consultations with WAA leadership and local government and public health officials were also held.
“We understand that although this is disappointing for so many, we could no longer envision a way to safely accommodate the large number of visitors we typically host during this event,” she said.
ANC’s most sacred mission to lay the nation’s veterans and their family members to rest continues during the pandemic, the release continues.
Family pass holders and visitors are still welcome to visit the cemetery on their own schedules.