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ARLINGTON, Va. – Every year hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers brave the cold weather to make sure that every serviceman and servicewoman who defended our country gets a wreath on their grave to honor their sacrifice.

But this year, Arlington National Cemetery, just outside of our nation’s capital, almost looked different.

The annual Wreaths Across America distribution was canceled Monday to the coronavirus pandemic. But now that decision has been reversed.

The Secretary of the Army directed Arlington National Cemetery leaders to host the wreath distribution but in a safe manner.

Cemetery officials also made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

“The Secretary of the Army has 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. Arlington National Cemetery will provide an update on the final schedule soon,” cemetery officials said in a news release.

The wreath distribution was originally scheduled for Dec. 19.

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Monday’s cancellation announcement came as a shock to Wreaths Across America organizers.

Monday’s cancellation only impacted Arlington National Cemetery and the Soldiers and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery.

Cemetery officials originally said when the event was canceled because they “could not implement sufficient controls to mitigate the risks associated with hosting an event of this size … while still conducting a respectful and honorable public event,” WTOP reported.

The numbers of COVID-19 cases have climbed in recent weeks in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area, WRC reported. On Monday, Washington, D.C. had 87 new cases, Maryland had 1,726 new cases and Virginia had 2,071, WRC reported.

The decision to cancel the event that has been going on since 1992 was met with pleas to reconsider.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R. Ark.) said volunteers can place wreaths safely in Arlington in light of recent demonstrations in the streets of Washington, D.C., Fox News reported.

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