Veterans and their families can participate in Wreaths Across America in national cemeteries, but there will be restrictions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
For several years, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), has partnered with Wreaths Across America (WAA) in planning and supporting the annual WAA program of laying wreaths for our Veterans at NCA’s national cemeteries.
In previous years, these events drew hundreds of thousands of community coordinators and volunteers. This included families who wish to come and visit loved ones on their own at NCA cemeteries. NCA’s involvement in the annual WAA program has two distinct parts: The Branch of Service – POW/MIA wreath laying ceremony and placement of wreaths at the gravesite. Both parts of the program are organized and managed by WAA volunteer coordinators. Community volunteers support by placing wreaths on individual gravesites.
This year, because of the pandemic environment, WAA and NCA have adjusted and implemented certain measures. This will minimize the number of people at national cemeteries in order to ensure the safety of all participants. The Branch of Service – POW/MIA wreath laying ceremonies will not be open to the public. Local WAA organizers are modifying the gravesite wreath placement activities to incorporate health and safety precautions while still honoring Veterans. In these cases, WAA organizers and volunteers will place wreaths for those who wish to honor Veterans by sponsorship of a wreath.
In some locations, WAA coordinators have elected to not hold gravesite wreath placement activities. For these locations, private visits to grave sites by the public will still be allowed.
NCA’s goal is to ensure a safe environment for those who wish to visit an NCA cemeteries. National cemeteries will follow state, local, and CDC COVID-19 guidelines while visiting or participating in wreath placement activities. This includes limiting group size, keeping physically distant and wearing masks.
For information on locating a participating cemetery, or how to sponsor a wreath, please see: https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
Story courtesy National Cemetery Administration.