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Legion changes Memorial Day plans

By Staff | May 8, 2020

Clarence A. Larson American Legion Post 23 announced this week plans for its traditional Memorial Day observance have been modified due to public health guidelines established to address the spread of COVID-19.

Post Commander John Gustafson said a small service would be held inside Memorial Hall on May 25 at 10:30 a.m. to honor fallen military service men and women. Gustafson said the service would be closed to the public.

“We’ll have it on a live broadcast on KZZJ radio,” Gustafson said. “We will have a wreath laying ceremony outside at 11 a.m.”

Gustafson said the public is welcome to attend the outdoor wreath laying ceremony in front of Memorial Hall, but the post encourages social distancing at the event.

The traditional meal held by the post after the ceremony has been canceled.

Gustafson said the post reviewed North Dakota Department of Health guidelines and consulted Lake Region District Health Unit Nurse Samantha Wentz before deciding to modify the ceremony and cancel some events.

“I certainly don’t want to turn people away because we’re at a limit that we can have people,” Gustafson said. “So my thoughts were to have everything except for the people – have the service, have the wreath laying and a real observance.”

Gustafson added, “Traditionally, Memorial Day’s been for military members but I think because of what we went through there’s going to be a little bit in there about the loss everybody’s experiencing, family members and extended family members. I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Gustafson said post members will still place flags on the graves of military veterans at Persilla Watts and Little Flower Catholic cemeteries on Saturday, May 23.

– Sue Sitter, PCT

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