Wintry storms assaulted the Northeast today, dropping up to nine inches of snow in northwest Maryland, causing traffic accidents on slickened roads that killed at least six people and forcing the cancellation of some Veterans Day events.
In Washington, six inches of snow fell on Arlington National Cemetery, where Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
"On this day, our nation pauses to honor all her veterans, past and present," Weinberger said in prepared remarks. "We remember both those who helped us prevail in war, and those who have defended our values in peace. We honor both living and dead, and those whose fate is still not resolved--our missing in action, countrymen whom we swear never to forget."
An outdoor service at the cemetery was canceled.
'Too Early for This'
Veterans Day parades in Attleboro and Malden, Mass., were canceled because of the snow. Officials in Lexington, Mass., moved their parade and celebration indoors to the large town meeting hall.
"It's too early for this," Karen Schwartz, 24, a chiropractor's assistant in Natick, Mass., said of the preview of winter. "I was too cold. I just wanted to turn around and go back inside the house."
The storm system, which began dropping snow across the Great Lakes region to the Northeast on Tuesday, headed off the Eastern Seaboard but was quickly followed by another assault. Northwest Maryland was the hardest hit.
"I've been working in this area for 2 1/2 years, and it's unusual for us to get this much snow this early in the year," said Kevin Laird, a radio broadcaster in Frostburg, Md.
Holiday Eases Pressure
The Veterans Day holiday kept many commuters off the roads and enabled highway crews to salt and clear a path as the second storm system moved along the Atlantic Coast and threatened more snow.
Snow by dawn fell across the southern and central Appalachians, while a sloppy mixture of rain, freezing drizzle, sleet and snow extended just east of the Appalachians from southern New England to the Carolinas. Snow showers also reached across the upper Ohio Valley.
Winter storm watches were posted for this afternoon and tonight over the Catskill Mountains of New York, southern Vermont and much of Massachusetts, where up to six more inches of snow is possible.