Memorial Day at Missouri Veterans Cemetery 2018

Small American flags decorate the graves at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in south Springfield on Memorial Day, May 28, 2018.

The Memorial Day celebration at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Springfield scheduled for May 25 has been canceled.

The ceremony will not host a Memorial Day celebration this year due to the public health warnings tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cemetery is located off of the Evans Road exit from U.S. Highway 65, just north of the Greene-Christian county line and gets regular visits from Christian County residents. The cemetery staff will still place flags on headstones and the columbarium niches, and line what is called the “Avenue of Flags.”

The Missouri Veterans Cemetery will be open from sunrise to sunset on Memorial Day, though visitors are asked to consider visiting on Saturday or Sunday in effort to minimize crowds. The cemetery remains open for burials and visitation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and families are asked to practice Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

In Nixa, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have also canceled a ceremony traditionally held at the Nixa Community Center each Memorial Day.

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was established as a day for Americans to honor those who were killed during the Civil War.  It was not until after World War I that Memorial Day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American Wars. Memorial Day was declared a national holiday in 1971 and was placed on the last Monday in May.

Help curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by practicing responsible social distancing, washing your hands and covering your cough or sneeze. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath) please call a health care provider. The State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has a statewide COVID-19 Information Hotline and website to answer general questions from the public. Call 877-435-8411 or visit https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/.

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