ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – This year’s Wreaths Across America continued from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Woodlawn National Cemetery despite bad weather conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic.
One Organizer of the Event at the Woodlawn National Cemetery, Lewis Hill, said they had to cancel Thursday’s wreath-laying.
Despite cold conditions this morning, volunteers still came out to help. Today’s volunteers had to dig through snow to lay wreaths and they also cleared any headstones of snow.
“It’s just making it hard for people to travel through the snow,” said Hill. “I’m a 23 year veteran so it’s very important to me. But just to me it’s more about the people, the outpouring of support from the community is fabulous.”
Hill says laying the wreath shows that you are honoring a fallen soldier’s name, which is why volunteers wipe the snow off each gravestone.
This year, the maximum number of volunteers was 390 people, when normally they would have 1000 people. They were also only allowed 8 wreath-layers in the cemetery at a time.