Memorial Day Ceremonies Canceled At Local Veteran Cemeteries

"It was a very difficult decision to make," said Minnesota Veteran's State Cemetery Administrator Cory Johnson.

SAGINAW, Minn. – Memorial day is this coming Monday. Thanks to the Covid-19 Pandemic…
plans for large public celebrations have been canceled.

The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Saginaw is the final resting place for hundreds of soldiers who have sacrificed their lives protecting this country.

Memorial Day is the day to commemorate those soldiers, but this year it won’t be the same.

Flags stand tall in front of the many headstones memorializing veterans.

This is just one of the many ways the Minnesota state veterans cemetery honors fallen soldiers as Memorial Day approaches.

They are also honored during an annual ceremony, which draws in thousands of people hoping to pay their respects.

“It involves different honor guards, different aspects of the military, of course, veterans, music and guest speakers,” said Cemetery Administrator Cory Johnson.

But this year commemorating those veterans is going to look a little different.

The Minnesota state veterans cemetery leaders were forced to make the tough decision to cancel its memorial ceremony, which is usually held at one of three of its burial grounds across the state.

“It was a very difficult decision to make. It’s hard to articulate my personal feelings on it. I of course support the direction,” said Johnson. “Our top priority is to keep the people we serve, but it really is difficult and hard to explain.”

Staff at the cemetery have remorse for those who may have been looking forward to this year’s ceremony.

“I personally have a loved one buried at a Minnesota state cemetery. I sympathize with the thoughts of the families we serve,” said Johnson.

But these fallen soldiers will be receiving the recognition they deserve even if it means not celebrating on a holiday dedicated to them.

“A saying we have here at our cemeteries is for us every day is Memorial Day, ” said Johnson. “Their loved ones aren’t forgotten and we are still honoring them.

Although a physical ceremony is not happening this Memorial Day these soldiers are still being commemorated.

The veteran’s cemetery is hosting a live broadcast honoring the soldiers on Twin Cities PBS t 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 25th.

The virtual memorial can also be streamed online.

 

 

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