LITTLE FALLS -- The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls will be much quieter this year over Memorial Day Weekend. Cemetery Administrator Erik Sogge says the event scheduled for Sunday, May 24th has been canceled.

He says the event typically includes the Richfield Symphonic Band, a ceremonial wreath-laying, and guest speakers.

It takes a lot of volunteers out here even just for parking, assisting guests, stuff like that.  So, it's a lot of planning, a lot of coordination, that goes into that.

Sogge says they usually have over 1,000 people attend, so social distancing wouldn't be possible. He says it is by far their largest event that they have each year.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs will hold a virtual Memorial Day program this year in place of live events at the three State Veterans Cemeteries where past years drew thousands of visitors.

MDVA is partnering with Twin Cities PBS-TPT to create a 30-minute Memorial Day program entitled “Always Remember: A Minnesota Tribute to Veterans we’ve lost,” that will be broadcast across the state on TPT’s Minnesota Channel at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 25.

However, the cemetery grounds are still open including the lobby area with the bathrooms and the gravesite locator. Sogge says they still can hold direct burials as well.

we aren't currently allowed to  hold committal services or military honors out here, but we can provide a burial for the family and families that are affected by this would be allowed to schedule a service at a later date.

Sogge says the Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls is still getting a fair amount of visitors, but guests have been good about coming in small groups and are practicing social distancing.

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