COVID CRAZINESS: Salisbury National Cemetery Director Cancels Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony At Veterans’ Graves

A few of the wreaths placed at the event in front of the memorial. / Wreaths Across America's mission is to Remember, Honor, and Teach, gathering every December to do just that in cemeteries across the country./ Zach Stevenson / Salisbury Post

SALISBURY – There have been an abundance of examples of downright silly restrictions driven by the hysteria surrounding coronavirus. Yet another example of such hysteria is now affecting how we honor the men and women who’ve served our country.

Wreaths Across America (WAA) is a non-profit organization that raises money for wreathes every Christmas season at the graves of military veterans every year in honor of their service to our country.

This year, North Mecklenburg Women’s Republican Club collected enough donations on behalf of WAA to lay 201 wreaths at Salisbury National Cemetery.

But when the Club inquired about laying the wreathes at the grave sites, they were told by the cemetery director that they could not do so. Why? COVID-19.


Despite all the obvious facts — cemeteries are OUTSIDE, laying a wreath is not a two person job, and social distancing is easily accomplished during the task — the director cited concerns over coronavirus for prohibiting the wreath laying.

Conscious of the current environment, WAA offers options for a mitigated ceremony, adjustments that other National cemeteries have agreed to, but the Salisbury National Cemetery has not returned any calls to the Club to present such options.

Honoring our veterans with wreathes at Christmas, going to our kids’ and grandkids’ Christmas programs, even attending Church; how much will we let Pandemic Panic take from us? At some point, common sense must become common again, even if it means being politically incorrect during a collective freak out over a virus with a 99+% survival rate.

If you’d like to offer Salisbury National Cemetery your input on how we should honor our veterans this holiday season, you can call them at (704)636-2661. Better yet, sponsor a wreath through the North Mecklenburg Republican Women’s Club to lay at the grave of a veteran this year, even if they require a hazmat suit to do it.

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