Veterans will be remembered, but no service this year due to virus

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry A small memorial is set up in front of the apartments at 209 Market Street in Warren. There are no public services on the calendar for Memorial Day. The Veterans Affairs office encourages private observances including visiting the burial places of veterans.

Warren County’s veterans will be remembered, but the county ceremony honoring them on Memorial Day will not be held this year.

The Warren County commissioners discussed the event with Veterans Affairs Director Ed Burris.

Under the current pandemic circumstances and taking into consideration the governor’s prohibition on gatherings of more than 25 people, their conclusion was to recommend that the services not be held.

The event is traditionally held on the courthouse steps, putting it in the court of the commissioners, but, they left the decision up to the veterans organizations that make the event happen.

The Marine Corps League – Pendleton Detachment was to be in charge of this year’s event.

Commandant Jim Brys said the League made the difficult decision to cancel the event in the interest of public safety.

“I believe it is the right decision,” Burris said. “I would hope that services will be able to be held next year.”

The Warren American Legion is scheduled to host the county event next year.

There will be private services throughout the county, but they are, in the interest of distancing, not open to the public.

In the absence of attending a ceremony, those wishing to observe Memorial Day may honor veterans privately. “Memorial Day is to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Burris said. “If you have loved ones who served who have passed on, take a couple of minutes to go by the cemetery… maybe plant a flower. Show your children where your ancestors are buried.”

Flags have been placed at the graves of known veterans in the county.

In that respect, Warren County is in comparably good standing. “There are several counties in the state that are having trouble getting their flags out,” Burris said. “We are not one of them.”

While some counties placed their orders late enough that shut-downs at places that manufacture the flags were problematic, Warren County’s order was placed well in advance. “We order right after the Fourth of July,” Burris said.

The Veterans Affairs office has submitted the names of county veterans who passed away over the past year for publication in the Times Observer.


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