Memorial services suspended for COVID-19 resume at national cemeteries

Photo credit Arlington National Cemetery

Committal and memorial services will resume at all but two Department of Veterans Affairs national cemeteries on Tuesday.

"During the last 10 weeks VA national cemeteries have continued performing our essential mission — to inter veterans and eligible family members," said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in a release. "We believe we have a robust set of measures in place that will allow us to conduct committal and memorial services while protecting the health and safety of veterans, their families and our team members who serve them." 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, committal services and military funeral honors were put on hold at national cemeteries beginning March 23. The cemeteries have remained open for interments and visitations throughout the pandemic.

Family pass holders only at Arlington National Cemetery this Memorial Day weekend

Families who were unable to hold a committal service due to COVID-19 restrictions will be contacted in July so arrangements can be made, the release states.

Interments scheduled on or after June 9, will be offered the option of a committal service at the time of interment. At Calverton and Long Island national cemeteries, that option will be available starting June 22, provided state and local guidance permit. Military funeral honors will take place based on local availability.

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National cemeteries will also continue to limit the number of individuals attending committal services, based on local and state guidelines. Masks are required for all attendees and cemetery staff. Social distancing guidelines remain in effect.

Families can also choose direct interment and opt for a memorial service later when all restrictions have been lifted.  

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