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Memorial Day observed with pandemic restrictions

May 29, 2020 at 4:00 a.m.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, center, is followed by Bill Wussick, assistant director of Veteran Cemeteries, retired Army Col. Nate Todd, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, and Maj. Gen. Kendall W. Penn, adjutant general, Arkansas National Guard. - Submitted photo

The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs held an invitation-only Memorial Day ceremony at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock that included a representative of United States Daughters of 1812.

"This is a departure from the usual public ceremony held every year. Across the nation, there were no large ceremonies to honor the fallen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, there were no mass flag placements at grave sites," USD 1812 said in a news release.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison was the guest speaker. Included in the ceremony were Maj. Gen. Kendall Penn, Arkansas National Guard adjutant general, ANG Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Veazey, ANG State Chaplain Lt. Colonel Jeremy Miller, and retired Army Col. Nate Todd, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. The event also featured a flyover of World War II-era planes by the Commemorative Air Force Razorback Wing, based at North Little Rock Municipal Airport, the release said.

"The ceremony included the placing of service wreaths for each branch of the service. A wreath remembering all Arkansas veterans was placed by Hutchison, Penn and Todd. Though closed to the public, the ceremony was livestreamed over the cemetery's Facebook page," it said.

Beverly Webb with Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Megoloff, Arkansas Army National Guard. - Submitted photo
Beverly Webb with Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Megoloff, Arkansas Army National Guard. - Submitted photo

Attendance was limited to 50 guests and invitations were issued for one representative from each service organization. Organizations included Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary, Disabled Veterans and Auxiliary, American Legion and Auxiliary, United Daughters of the Confederacy, United States Daughters of 1812, and Daughters of the American Revolution. Gold Star family members were also in attendance.

All were requested to wear face masks and social distancing was enforced, according to the release.

Both ADVA state cemeteries are open and will continue to provide interments for veterans and eligible individuals. ADVA cemeteries are following the VA National Cemetery Administration guidelines. ADVA cemeteries and the National Cemetery Administration are continuing to adjust services in light of the best practices urged by the CDC in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the release said.

U.S.D. 1812 has supported Arkansas veterans since World War I. Call Sheila Beatty-Krout at 501-922-7488 for more information.

Society on 05/29/2020

Print Headline: Memorial Day observed with pandemic restrictions

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