Veterans urge people to seek alternatives after cancelations of public Memorial Day ceremonies

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In preparation for the weekend leading up to our most solemn national holiday, crews at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery were at work Friday anticipating weekend visitors.

Unlike previous Memorial Day weekends, there will be no group public ceremonies.

“Each VA national cemetery will conduct a brief wreath laying ceremony, accompanied by a moment of silence and the playing of Tap,” according to a statement on the Veterans Affairs website. “In keeping with CDC guidelines to limit large gatherings, the ceremonies will not be open to the public.”

The VA is encouraging people to experience memorial services virtually by viewing videos posted to the website from around the country.

“I would hope that Americans would not stop honoring the individuals because they cannot come to a ceremony,” retired Marine Lt. Colonel Charles McLaurine, Patriots Peace Memorial Board chairman said. “Our commitment is to those individuals in honoring and recognizing them.”

Hundreds would typically gather at the memorial on Monday to honor United States Military personnel who have given their lives in the line of duty, but these ceremonies have been canceled as well.

Some veterans recommend making this Memorial Day personal.

Honor Flight Bluegrass, grounded by the coronavirus, kicked off the weekend celebrating WWII veteran Art Raderer’s 102nd birthday.

“You can call someone,” Jeff Thoke, Honor Flight Bluegrass Director said. “Our veterans are at home, whether in a retirement community or at home. Send them a letter on Memorial Day or any other time of the year. Make contact with them and thank them for all they did for us.”

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