Annual Wreaths Across America event set to begin Sunday with coronavirus precautions in place

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After fears that it would be canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the annual Wreaths Across America event will go on at Arlington National Cemetery this year with new safety precautions.

Family pass holders will be welcomed to lay a wreath at the grave of loved ones on Sunday, Dec. 13. Through the remainder of the week, the Old Guard will lay the wreaths across the rest of the cemetery.

“We’re really honored that we’re able to do it this year,” Arlington National Cemetery Deputy Chief of Staff Bob Quackenbush said. “And we’re really especially honored that we’re giving the family pass holders this special day to come in.”

The team at Wreaths Across America place thousands of wreaths at veterans’ graves at Arlington National Cemetery every December. Last month, it briefly looked like the event would have to be canceled due to the pandemic, but a plan to proceed safely was put in place so the event could go on.

“This is really different from how we’ve done it in years past. In previous years, we’ve had up to 100,000 people come into the cemetery. Obviously, that’s not obtainable this year,” Quackenbush said. “A lot of family pass holders have wanted to come in and be the first one to lay a wreath on the grave, and that hasn’t always been possible. Now I think with this year, with this different paradigm, they’ll be able to do that.”

Family pass holders looking to go to Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday are being asked to bring their family pass, a face mask and a government-issued ID to get into the cemetery.

The cemetery will be closed to the general public from Dec. 13 through Dec. 19.

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