VA has different rules in place for visitation at National Cemetery during holiday weekend

GRAFTON, W.Va. — Visitation at national cemeteries will be open throughout Memorial Day weekend, but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has rules in place about appropriate practices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Grafton National Cemetery

Flags and flowers can be placed at grave sites. Public events have been canceled, including “mass placement and retrieval of grave site flags by any groups.”

Director at the Grafton National Cemetery, Keith Barnes said the pandemic has forced them to scale celebrations back.

“We’re not going to have a public Memorial Day ceremony,” Barnes said. “Every cemetery around the country however, is going to have a small staff ceremony including a wreath laying.”

Cemetery staff will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony and will share images on social media.

“It’ll be at the Grafton National Cemetery Monday,” Barnes said. “But, it will just be brief remarks by myself, a wreath laying, a moment of silence and I found a bugler to play Taps.”

“We encourage people to adhere to guidelines put out by the CDC, smaller groups, social distancing is one of our concerns, but people are more than welcome to come in but spread over the weekend, not just Memorial Day,”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Thursday the department should reconsider the policy.

“Laying wreaths and flags is an individual and solemn gesture that could be accommodated by using health and safety guidelines,” he said.





More News

News
Manchin, Capito discuss Interstate 68 business environment with Maryland colleagues
West Virginia's U.S. senators are working with two of their Senate colleagues on trying to motivate industries and businesses to move near Interstate 68.
August 8, 2020 - 9:45 pm
News
38-year-old Kanawha woman is among four latest W.Va. covid-related deaths
Kanawha County Day Report Center, Southern Regional Jail keep close watch on virus spread.
August 8, 2020 - 8:31 pm
News
Justice: Testing Monday at Veterans Nursing Home in Clarksburg
Governor says nurse recently tested positive.
August 8, 2020 - 3:15 pm
News
213 homes completed under RISE West Virginia
There are 191 active cases in the RISE West Virginia program.
August 8, 2020 - 1:05 pm