Wreaths Across America event canceled at Arlington National Cemetery due to pandemic

A police officer walks among the more than 10,000 balsam fir wreaths placed by volunteers on the graves of servicemen and women at Arlington National Cemetery on December 15, 2007, in Arlington, Virginia (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Officials announced Monday that the Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery and the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home Cemetery next month will be canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We did not make this decision lightly. 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,” said Karen Durham-Aguilera, executive director in the Office of Army National Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery. 

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Officials say this decision applies only to the event that was to be held at Arlington National Cemetery and Soldiers and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery on December 19.

Family pass holders and visitors are still welcome to visit the cemetery on their own schedules and place graveside tributes of privately purchased flowers or wreaths in accordance with Arlington National Cemetery's floral policy, officials say.

If this impacts your participation in the Wreaths Across America event, visit their website for updated information at https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/.