Memorial Day services across Miami County have been canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paola American Legion Post 156, Louisburg American Legion Post 250 and Spring Hill American Legion Post 350 have announced they will not conduct services this year for Memorial Day, which is Monday, May 25.
Louisburg’s Memorial Day service features an Honor Guard made up of members of the Louisburg American Legion and Louisburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7348. Services normally are conducted in Louisburg and several smaller cemeteries in the area.
The social distancing requirement set out in Phase 1.5 of Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to reopen the state limits mass gatherings to no more than 10 people. Phase 1.5 went into effect Monday, May 18.
“Between the firing squad and color guard, we have more people than that (10-person limit),” Louisburg American Legion Commander Wayne Knop said.
Some communities are not allowing groups to place flags at veterans’ graves because of COVID-19 social distancing.
That’s also taking place on a national level.
Groups like the Boy Scouts of America will not be allowed to place American flags at the gravesites of veterans at national cemeteries this year for Memorial Day due to the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration announced earlier this month.
But that is not the case in Miami County.
No organizations have indicated to date that they will forgo posting flags. Quite the opposite.
“We will have all the veterans’ graves decorated with the flags,” Legion Commander Knop said. “We’re putting them out Friday, and we’ll take them down Monday night.”
The Louisburg VFW Post puts up the large U.S. flags that line the avenues of Louisburg Cemetery.
Spring Hill American Legion Post 350 indicated likewise when organizers announced their Memorial Day service would be canceled, but the flags would still be posted.
“The Post along with the Scouts will work to ensure the U.S. Flags are posted to honor our Veterans,” the Spring Hill American Legion announced.