WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — An annual holiday event honoring our nation’s fallen veterans was at risk of being canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but is back on after weeks of negotiation.
“It’s a go and we’re very happy,” Wreaths Across America Executive Director Karen Worcester said.
Every December, Worcester and the team at Wreaths Across America place thousands of wreaths at veterans’ graves at Arlington National Cemetery. It looked for weeks like the event would be canceled this year due to the pandemic, but supporters wouldn’t let that happen.
“I’m glad that they heard us – from the volunteers and the hearts of the volunteers to the very top,” Worcester said.
And at the very top – it was the secretary of the Army and President Donald Trump. Both ordered the event to go on.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) was skeptical about the way the Trump administration got involved.
“When I see the people who are in charge of it saying we don’t think we can do it safely but then they’re sort of countermanded,” Kaine explained.
But Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne said it was important to find a way.
“I think there needs to be some healing in this country after all that we’ve been through,” he said.
The organization developed a plan to safely place the wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery in person and virtually. The cemetery will close for an entire week so soldiers can place most of the wreaths. A small group from Wreaths Across America will place wreaths in a designated section of the cemetery.
“We’re gonna embrace those families of the fallen and hopefully in embracing them, we can help hold each other back up a little bit,” Worcester said. “So we’re really excited to be able to carry on.”