LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The annual tradition of hundreds of volunteers placing flags on each gravesite at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, and a public in-person ceremony honoring the day, will not take place this year due to the pandemic.
The flags are usually placed on the Saturday prior to Memorial Day and is led by the National Order of the Trench Rats, Dugout #421.
Cemetery staff and veterans organizations who plan the event determined it would be difficult to follow social distancing protocols at the Boulder City cemetery.
However, the cemetery remains open and members of the public are encouraged to visit the cemeteries and place flags or flowers, if they wish. The public is encouraged to practice social distancing and wear a face covering.
According to NDVS Director Kat Miller, “Making this change was not a decision that we, or the lead veterans service organizations made lightly, and no one is more disappointed than the organizers of these events that they cannot cover the cemetery with flags as they have done in the past. In the end, the safety of our veterans and their families made a modification necessary. Please do know, however, that you are welcome to visit and honor those who have earned our deepest respect as long as you can safely do so.”
Instead of a public in-person ceremony, two videos will be released in observance of Memorial Day, to serve as virtual ceremonies. One video will be focused on southern Nevada and one will focus on northern Nevada. You can watch the video at this link starting on Saturday, May 23.