Memorial Day observances fall victim to virus

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Although traditions are being impacted, Memorial Day will be observed throughout the nation this coming weekend. Due to the continuing limitations related to the coronavirus, the annual Memorial Day ceremonies in Piggott and Rector have been canceled. Both meetings of the respective cemetery associations have also been called-off for this year as a precaution.

“We won’t be holding the annual ceremony, or putting out the flags this year,” Tommy Huggins said of the events normally held at Rector’s Woodland Heights Cemetery. “But, this is just a temporary thing and we’re already looking forward to starting it up again next year.”

He indicated over 800 flags are usually placed on the graves of the veterans, which has been accomplished by a variety of volunteers. He noted they had planned to purchase 1,000 new flags for this year, but put the plan on hold with an eye toward possibly using several larger ones.

Meanwhile, flags will be placed on the graves of veterans at Piggott’s Memorial Gardens Cemetery although none of the other ceremonies will be held. In recent years the chore of placing the American Flags on the graves of veterans has been handled by PHS students, and primarily Mohawk athletes.

Most years those who own plots in the cemetery, or who have loved ones buried there, gather for election of board members and to hear the annual treasurer’s report. Ort indicated the information would be made available to those interested.

The Memorial Day ceremonies are traditionally hosted by the cemetery associations in conjunction with the local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War posts.

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