The coronavirus pandemic forced Wreaths Across America to take on a new look for its annual tradition. 

Each December since 1992, Wreaths Across America commits to laying wreaths at Arlington National Ceremony to Honor and Remember fallen veterans – an effort that expanded in 2007 to include more than 2,100 additional locations nationwide.

"Today we place these wreaths on these memorial stones and we remember," said Col. David Shoffner, a chaplain. "We remember with hearts full of gratitude and appreciation, the men and women these stones remind us of."

(Nathan Wilkes, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Garrison Public Affairs)

The 2020 edition of the national effort went digital in some locations for health and safety. Film crews helped stream the event, allowing families to "attend" while remaining safe during the pandemic, according to an Army blog post

(Nathan Wilkes, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Garrison Public Affairs)

"For those who have had the opportunity to participate in the escort of wreaths over the years, it is truly an experience of a lifetime," Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA told the Highland County Press. "The way we have been welcomed into communities, with flags waving and streets lined with children and veterans, is something we always wished every American could witness."

"And like the wonderful song that our good friend Don Campbell wrote about this effort, we’re once again doing this for every daughter and every son, beneath the snow in Arlington."

President Trump applauded the effort to keep the tradition alive even during difficult times.

"Very happy to have helped get @WreathsAcross America so beautifully open and operating today," Trump tweeted. "Congratulations to all of those who have worked so hard for this great success!"

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Each location will take different measures to continue the tradition and honor those who gave their lives for their country.

(Nathan Wilkes, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Garrison Public Affairs)

In Washington state, usually hundreds of volunteers participate, but smaller groups will work in-person and observe social distancing, the Leavenworth Times reported.

(Nathan Wilkes, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Garrison Public Affairs)

Diana Pitts, a coordinator for the Wreaths Across America program at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, said a ceremony is planned there, too.

In Missouri, Executive Director Nancy Guth said that access to the National Veterans Memorial will be limited except to staff, KFVS reported

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"The mission for Wreaths Across America is to remember, honor and teach," Guth said. "This year will be different. We plan to do it virtually and we always want to remember, honor and teach about those that have served for this great nation."

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/us/wreaths-across-america-goes-virtual

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