Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service. In observance of the holiday, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national Cemeteries will be open to the public for Memorial Day, but there will be no large ceremonies to honor the fallen due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the VA’s National Cemetery Administration.
All 142 VA national cemeteries, with more than 4.7 million veteran gravesites, will be open for visitation. Families and friends are welcome to place flowers or individual flags at Veterans’ gravesites. Cemetery visitors ware asked to adhere to CDC, state and local health and safety guidelines. Read more at Memorial Day Commemorations at NCA Cemeteries.
Arlington National Cemetery, which is under the jurisdiction of the Army and the Defense Department, will only open to family pass holders during Memorial Day weekend, and visitors will be required to comply with social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus Read more at Arlington National Cemetery Commemorations.
VA will also be launching a new way for the public to pay tributes to Veterans at the Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM). The site, originally launched in 2019, contains a memorial page for each Veteran and service member interred in a VA national cemetery. The VLM will permit online visitors to leave a comment of tribute on a Veteran’s page, introducing a new way to observe Memorial Day. The tribute allows visitors to voice memories and appreciation for a Veteran’s service.