- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Arlington National Cemetery will now host its annual Wreaths Across America event, reversing a previous decision to cancel the event due to COVID-19 concerns.

President Trump Tuesday afternoon took credit for reversing the initial decision, which he called “ridiculous.”

“I have reversed the ridiculous decision to cancel Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery. It will now go on!” he tweeted.

Army officials earlier said in a statement that the “Secretary of the Army has directed Arlington National Cemetery to safely host.”

Every December, hundreds of volunteers lay wreaths on the headstones of fallen veterans and service members at the military cemetery, which is under the jurisdiction of the Army.

On Monday, officials with the Arlington National Cemetery said that after conducting a “thorough analysis,” they could not “implement sufficient controls to mitigate the risks associated with hosting an event of this size under current and forecasted infection and transmission rates, while still conducting a respectful and honorable public event.”

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

Roughly 24 hours later, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy ordered the event to proceed as planned.

“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,” the statement said. “Arlington National Cemetery will provide an update on the final schedule soon.”

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