Wreaths Across America is a nationwide event involving the laying of wreaths at the graves of America’s fallen heroes each December.
The organization states their goal of “coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 1,600 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.”
Arlington National Cemetery had announced that they were canceling the event after conducting a “thorough analysis” due to difficulty in maintaining pandemic-era protocols.
I have reversed the ridiculous decision to cancel Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery. It will now go on!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2020
President Trump and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy Reverse The Decision on Wreaths Across America
Reaction to the event’s cancelation was overwhelmingly negative, with prominent lawmakers even weighing in on the matter.
Former Navy SEAL officer Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) wrote, “This decision to cancel [Wreaths Across America] must be reversed immediately.”
“Critical thinking must win out over emotion. Large areas, outside and well-spaced, with masks on, is perfectly safe,” he added. “Our fallen deserve to be remembered.”
This decision to cancel #wreathsacrossamerica must be reversed immediately. Critical thinking must win out over emotion. Large areas, outside and well spaced, with masks on, is perfectly safe. Our fallen deserve to be remembered.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) November 17, 2020
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) had similar thoughts, noting that there had been marches in the streets regarding the recent election and therefore, there is no reason Wreaths Across America can not be held.
“Thousands of people have marched in DC streets the past couple weekends for Joe Biden and Donald Trump,” Cotton tweeted. “Surely volunteers can responsibly place wreaths on the graves of our fallen heroes at Arlington.”
I encourage Army leaders to reconsider this decision. Thousands of people have marched in DC streets the past couple weekends for Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Surely volunteers can responsibly place wreaths on the graves of our fallen heroes at Arlington. https://t.co/rSHZC5qJoV
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) November 17, 2020
Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy announced shortly thereafter that the event would indeed be held.
“I have directed Arlington National Cemetery to safely host Wreaths Across America,” McCarthy tweeted.
“We appreciate the families and visitors who take time to honor and remember those who are laid to rest at our nation’s most hallowed ground.”
I have directed Arlington National Cemetery to safely host Wreaths Across America. We appreciate the families and visitors who take time to honor and remember those who are laid to rest at our nation’s most hallowed ground.
— SecArmy (@SecArmy) November 17, 2020
President Trump followed with a tweet indicating the decision came from him.
“I have reversed the ridiculous decision to cancel Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery,” said the President. “It will now go on!”
“Everybody came together for a happy outcome,” Worcester said.
Honoring Heroes at Cemeteries Across America
In 2015, 80-year-old retired Marine Fred Kaffenberger was placing wreaths at Leavenworth National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America.
Kaffenberger, a member of The Sons of the American Revolution, was in full patriotic uniform with a group of people taking part in the event when he suddenly passed away.
His dedication to honoring the fallen should never be forgotten.
“This is the way he would’ve chosen to go. Wouldn’t you want to go doing what you love to do and go in an instant?” a family member asked at the time. “Yeah, I would too.”
We salute you once again Mr. Kaffenberger, for your service to your country, for your dedication to honoring the past, and your determination to honor those who also sacrificed for their country.
Imagine what he may have felt if Arlington National Cemetery decided to cancel this event.
Read more at the Political Insider