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Yellowstone National Cemetery changes Memorial Day ceremony

Posted at 5:21 PM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-24 13:08:33-04

COVID-19 limitations have forced people across the country to make adjustments to honor veterans leading up to Memorial Day.

Part of the change includes a virtual ceremony at the Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel.

On Saturday, the Friends of Yellowstone National Cemetery placed the big flags and shot video for an online tribute for Monday's remembrance.

The Department of Veteran Affairs canceled live ceremonies at its 142 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers lots and monument sites

"We're not allowed to have large groups at the cemeteries," said Richard Klose, vice-chair of the Friends of Yellowstone National Cemetery. "We're putting up the Avenue of Flags, the big 5 by 8 flags. And then people are allowed to put the small flags by the headstones of their friends and relatives. So we are still honoring our men and women that served our nation."

"We're doing what we can under the unusual circumstances of this pandemic," said Stephen McCollum, cemetery manager. "Honoring our veterans especially on Memorial Day is the most important thing that we can do for them. We have to show that we appreciate and honor their service and in some cases their sacrifice for our country."

The video ceremony will be available on Monday on the Friends of Yellowstone National Cemetery Facebook page.