Wreaths Across America will lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery

Wreaths Across America will lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery
Wreaths rest on headstones in Arlington National Cemetery following the Wreath Across America event, Dec. 17, 2016, in Arlington, Va. (Source: Arlington National Cemetery)

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Less than 24 hours after it was canceled, Wreaths Across America’s annual journey to Arlington National Cemetery is back on.

That new announcement was made during a virtual press conference held by Wreaths Across America.

Executive Director, Karen Worcester, said, “The Secretary of the Army has directed Arlington Cemetery to - sorry this is emotional - to safely host Wreaths Across America.”

It was a long, sleepless, emotional night for the Wreaths Across America team.

Their Executive Director Karen Worcester says when they heard Arlington National Cemetery decided to not have them lay wreaths on veterans' graves this year - they sprung into action - creating safe scenarios for their mission which they talked about with cemetery officials.

“It just seemed as we got together and talked and listened to each other, we want to do the right thing, and we want to do it safely, so now we have a challenge, one that we’re up for meeting with some of the greatest minds out there and some of the greatest hearts out there, and we will do this safely.”

Each year, wreaths are laid on veterans' graves around the country and the world including Arlington where thousands volunteer. Worcester says they have always had a collaborative relationship which was proven here.

“I am very pleased to report that today we were able to have these discussions with the cemetery’s leadership team and they have informed us of their willingness to work with us to develop other options to allow the safe placement of veteran wreaths this December.”

She says while the plan is not set in stone, there will not be the volunteer base of thousands they typically rely on despite some 25-hundred locations participating - now including Arlington.

“We don’t know what this is going to look like, but we do know that we’ve come together, and we’re committed to working with families of those who are buried there.”

We will carry out our mission to remember, honor, teach.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy announced this afternoon he has directed Arlington National Cemetery to host Wreaths Across America.

President Trump also took to Twitter to say he reversed the decision to cancel the event.

It takes place on Saturday, December 19th.

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