Memorial Day ceremonies to be suspended at Calverton National Cemetery

Events for the time-honored tradition of saluting our troops who made the ultimate sacrifice are being put on pause due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Memorial Day ceremonies at places like Calverton National Cemetery will fall silent this year after the National Cemetery Association announced it is suspending public Memorial Day events this year.
For Karen Wirth of Centereach, this will be the first Memorial Day without her husband. Ken Wirth, a Vietnam veteran, died two weeks ago. The couple was actively involved in Memorial Day ceremonies at Calverton for a decade.
"I'll miss it a lot, yeah. We'd come, put flags on, have coffee and sit and chat for a little bit and go home with a good feeling knowing that we did something good," says Karen Wirth.
Karen says the cancellation is sad but necessary.
The Peterson family has been placing flags at Calverton every Memorial Day since 2013 and is disappointed to miss this year.
"As a health care worker, I totally understand. You can't do social distancing with this particular community service project, which is sad to see because we won't be able to honor our fallen heroes this year this way," says Jennifer Burns-Peterson.
Although large gatherings won't be allowed at Calverton, the cemetery will be open Memorial Day weekend. Authorities say visitors will be allowed to place flowers and small flags at their loved ones' grave sites.
The National Cemetery Association is expected to make an official announcement about public Memorial Day ceremonies at Long Island National Cemetery in a few days.
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