Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery Memorial Day service canceled; WDVA to host online ceremony instead

Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery Memorial Day service canceled; WDVA to host online ceremony instead

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Playing Taps

In this 2019 file photo, Sgt. Tom Nachtwey plays Taps at the conclusion of the Memorial Day ceremony at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery outside Union Grove.

TOWN OF DOVER — The traditional Memorial Day ceremony held at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery has been canceled this year in the interest of the health and safety of the community.

While there will be no in-person, public ceremony, a virtual commemoration is scheduled to take place online.

In addition, there will not be a large public event to place flags. However, arrangements have been made to ensure that there are flags on graves for Memorial Day.

At 9 a.m. on Monday, the WDVA plans to host a state-wide Memorial Day observance online featuring speakers, music, and history for remembering and honoring those who have gone before. The commemoration is available online at WisVetsMemorialDay2020.com.

As a nod toward public ceremonies, the WDVA has invited those who are elected to represent districts that include the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemeteries and the Wisconsin Veterans Homes to participate in the commemoration. Their messages can be found in the Tribute Gallery.

“We will still honor and express our sincerest gratitude to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coastguardsmen who died in defense of our nation and our values with a beautiful online ceremony,” said WDVA Secretary Mary Kolar. “Be assured that while we cannot gather, we will honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in a worthy manner.”

The commemoration will culminate with the 3 p.m. observance of the National Moment of Remembrance, an annual event that asks Americans to pause for a duration of one minute to remember those who have died in military service to the United States. Kolar will lead the Moment of Remembrance Live on Facebook.

The WDVA is calling on people across Wisconsin to join in playing “Taps” as part of the National Moment of Remembrance. All are encouraged to participate by sounding “Taps” from their home, porch, or front yard. A video of Taps is available to play on WisVetsMemorialDay2020.com.

The Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 21731 Spring St. (Highway C), will be open and accessible to the public from sunrise to sunset every day over the holiday weekend. The WDVA encourages visitors to observe social distancing guidelines when visiting. Families and friends should also consider visiting on another day when there are likely to be fewer visitors.

Commemorate at home resources

In this time of social distancing, the WDVA is also bringing Memorial Day to people in their own home. In addition to the virtual ceremony, resources are available to help families and individuals as are tools to encourage public participation and social media interaction.

Resources and activities are available for children and adults to use to commemorate, honor and respect those who have died in military service.

In the same vein as the “Happy Heart Hunt” effort, the WDVA is providing a printable American flag for coloring. Individuals may color the flag or draw their own and post it in a window. They can also draw a flag with chalk on a sidewalk or driveway.

Educational resources include the lyrics and history of “Taps,” proper flag etiquette and information about the Missing Man Table.

Social Media

Memorial Day has been a time for gathering with friends and family. While spending time apart this year, an online community can join together. A Wisconsin Memorial Day profile frame is available for download on Facebook. The flag and flowers of the Facebook frame represent the flags and flowers traditionally placed on a fallen hero’s headstone. The hashtag #WIRemember can be used to tag any Memorial Day related posts.

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