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Local

Newton American Legion not planning public ceremonies for Memorial Day

American Legion Post 111 Legion Riders spent Saturday getting Newton Union Cemetery ready for Memorial Day.
American Legion Post 111 Legion Riders spent Saturday getting Newton Union Cemetery ready for Memorial Day.

With Memorial Day right around the corner, the traditional services of the day will be a little different this year. Due to coronavirus concerns, the public ceremonies put on by American Legion Post 111 and other organizations will not be taking place this year.

American Legion Commander Jerry Nelson said typically on Memorial Day they do six cemeteries on Sunday, two more on Monday followed by a memorial ceremony at the Newton Union Cemetery.

“Obviously, with the COVID concerns we are not going to be able to do that,” Nelson said.

The traditional ceremony typically ran around 35 minutes long Nelson said. It included speeches from special guests, a chaplain and additional portions the public could attend. This year, the day will be marked with pared down festivities.

“We are just going to do the honors which involves ‘Taps’ and the 21-gun salute,” Nelson said.

The honors will be conducted at various cemeteries throughout Memorial Day weekend and Memorial Day. While the honors taking place at the cemeteries won’t be open to the public, Nelson said people can still honor veterans on Memorial Day.

“The best way to do it would be to come out and visit those veteran’s locations and see that they have got a flag on their stone and just spend some time remembering those folks,” Nelson said.

While the normal ceremonies won’t be taking place, Nelson said he wants to make sure people know activities are still going to be done to honor fallen veterans on Memorial Day. Honors including placing more than 2,000 flags on veterans headstones have been done around the county.

“I would also like to thank all the folks who donated to our flag fund. The support was tremendous and highly appreciated,” Nelson said.

While Memorial Day is shaping up differently this year the importance still remains the same. Memorial Day is to honor those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces or those that have passed away since their service.

“These are the folks that served our county and lost their lives in that service or have since passed since serving our country. It is our time to remember those folks, remember the things that they have done and the things we appreciate today. Without our past we don’t have a future,” Nelson said.

Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or dteays@newtondailynews.com

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