Coronavirus changes Memorial Day program

Memorial Day, a day usually marked with solemn commemoration, honoring the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military, will look vastly different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s Memorial Day will be different than the years past, but it is important that the American Legion Post 79, Montgomery VFW Post 5340, and Montgomery Area Honor Guard pay respect to its fallen brethren.

According to American Legion Post 79 Commander Corey Kotek, a condensed version of a program will take place at the Legion starting at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 25. It will be closed to the public but live-streamed on the Legion’s Facebook page by Aaron Worm.

Kotek said there will be an opening prayer, roll call of all deceased veterans, prayer for deceased veterans, a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”

Following the program, the Montgomery Area Honor Guard will proceed to each of the six local cemeteries, Calvary, Heidelberg, St. John’s Lutheran, St. John’s Catholic, Bohemian National, and St. Michael’s where they will pay respect to fallen veterans with 21-gun salutes and the playing of “Taps.”

  Kotek advises the public at the cemeteries to remain in their cars if they see the honor guard about to perform or adhere to the recommended social distancing guidelines.

On Memorial Day Monday, May 25, 2020, the Lonsdale American Legion Honor Guard will hold a memorial ceremony at Holy Trinity Catholic Church Cemetery in Veseli at 9 a.m., Trondhjem Cemetery in Lonsdale at 9:30 a.m., and IC Church and Calvary Cemetery at 10:30 a.m.

Because of COVID 19, there will not be a ceremony at the Lonsdale Area Veterans Memorial. If the public attends the Cemetery Tributes, they are asked to please stay in cars.

Mark Pittman, representing the Kilkenny American Legion, explained that Legion members will decorate veterans’ gravesites, but no services will be held.


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