13:51 GMT26 November 2020
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    The annual Wreaths Across America event, in which volunteers recognize veterans by placing wreaths at their tombstones across cemeteries in the US, will take place this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

    On Wednesday, the Wreaths Across America co-founder Karen Worcester applauded the US Army’s Tuesday decision to go on with the event on “Fox & Friends” after it was canceled Monday evening due to concerns related to the novel coronavirus.

    “So many people that were just devastated,” she revealed, referring to the initial cancellation of the event, Fox News reported. 

    “It was a gut punch,” Worcester told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, describing her first reaction to the news. 

    “We knew there had to be more information than we had, because we had been working so closely with them to make sure that we were going to have a safe wreath-placing to conform with all the COVID regulations,” she added.

    She also remarked on the “outpouring” of support from around the country on Wednesday after it was decided that the event to honor fallen soldiers would go on. 

    In addition, Worcester confirmed on “Fox & Friends” that the wreath-laying ceremonies across the US “will follow the safety standards” and that she has been working with the staff at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, to ensure the event is as safe as possible.

    "Everybody came together for a happy outcome,” she added, reaffirming that Arlington National Cemetery's initial decision to cancel the event “was not based against Wreaths Across America” but rather on “protecting the people that work there because they are in the area that's highly affected” by the pandemic.

    US President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that the Wreaths Across America event will take place this year, calling the decision to cancel it “ridiculous.”

    Trump’s tweet followed an announcement by US Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy that Arlington National Cemetery would indeed host the event.

    “I have directed Arlington National Cemetery to safely host Wreaths Across America,” McCarthy tweeted Tuesday. “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.”

    Wreaths Across America Day, an event to commemorate and honor US veterans, occurs annually in December. This year, volunteers across the nation will place wreaths at the tombstones of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 2,100 other cemetery locations throughout the US on December 19.


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