Area communities to hold modified Memorial Day services
Memorial Day, a time to honor those who have given their lives to serve their country, will have a different look this year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, several communities have modified their Memorial Day ceremonies and others have chosen to cancel them.
The American Legion, Roy Reed Post 252 of Winside has seven rural cemeteries it provides with a tribute to veterans.
In 2020, due to COVID-19, plans have been modified to meet with the social distancing guidelines coming out of Lincoln.
The cemeteries visited are Theophilus Cemetery and Swedish Cemetery, Winside; and Immanuel Cemetery, Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Hoskins Community Cemetery, Spring Branch Cemetery and Zion Lutheran Cemetery (rural Pierce) with Hoskins addresses. The group has made contact with each cemetery representative asking them to place the gravemarker U.S. American flags on their cemetery grounds on Thursday, May 21.
There will be no on-site American Legion tribute this year. The Winside American Legion and Auxiliary members will go out on Friday, May 22 evening to place the Memorial Poppy wreath on each veterans' gravemarker. The group is hopeful to continue the traditional tribute in 2021.
The Winside Legion Family and Boy Scouts plan to decorate the veterans’ graves at Pleasantview Cemetery on May 20.
There will be a brief tribute at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 25 at Pleasantview Cemetery. This will include the Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion color guard, 21-gun salute and placing of the poppy wreath on the cross at the large flagpole on the cemetery grounds.
The public is welcomed to attend but are asked to remain in their vehicles at all times except for those Legion Family members conducting the tribute.
"We do wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday weekend and please remember our veterans. We traditionally would ask everyone who cares to do so, to wear a Memorial Poppy during the Memorial Day weekend. However, there will not be a Poppy Day this year for Wayne or Winside due to the limitations," said Bud Neel, Post/Squadron Adjutant
Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation to the Memorial Poppy fund may do so by sending a check to Beverly Neel, 57576 847th Road, Wayne, Neb. 68787-7080. Make checks payable to ALA Unit 252 Poppy Fund.
These funds are greatly appreciated as they assist in the purchase of the 2,000 Memorial Poppies the Unit purchases to create the five-poppy wreaths for all veterans' graves at the eight cemeteries and have some for distribution on Poppy Day.
The donations will pay for the cost of the poppies and the remaining funds will be divided 50/50 with the Department of Nebraska ALA Poppy fund to purchase the supplies for the poppies to be made and the other portion to the District 3 ALA President's project which most generally is applied to an event or item for the Norfolk Veterans Home.
There will be no Memorial Day Dinner by the Winside American Legion Auxiliary this year due to all the limitations in place for COVID-19.
Auxiliary members are reminded that the 2021 dues are $25 for Senior members; $5 for Junior members, age infancy through age 17 years. Checks can be sent in to Beverly Neel. Auxiliary dues and/or poppy fund donations may be all in one check, or two checks.
Anyone with questions or needing more information is asked to contact Bud Neel, Beverly Neel, Auxiliary Membership Chair or Laura Novak, Auxiliary Unit President.
The Memorial Day program at St. Anne’s Cemetery at Dixon will be a program of limited scope to comply with directed health measures currently in place.
The program will take place, weather permitting, on Sunday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m. at the cemetery one-half mile east of the Dixon Post Office.
Those wishing to attend should note that the starting time is one hour earlier this year than it was last year. Those attending should plan on arriving by 1:15 p.m. so that the program may start on time. Attendees will be asked to remain in their vehicles. A public address system will be used.
The Laurel Veteran’s group will assist with the ceremony by sending a few representatives for flags and taps.
In case of rain or high winds, the event will be canceled.
A Memorial Day ceremony will be held at the Laurel Cemetery on Monday, May 25 at 11 a.m., presented by American Legion Post No. 54, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4504 and the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge School. Pastor Jim Splitt will open with a prayer. "God Bless America" will be performed and the Laurel American Legion and VFW Auxiliary will perform the placing of the flowers for The Unknown Soldier. Jim Lipp will read the roll call of deceased veterans. "Taps" will conclude the ceremony.
Wayne's Consolidated Veterans group will be running their Memorial Day ceremony on KTCH 104.9 FM on Monday, May 25 at 9 a.m. Galen Wiser will read the roll call of deceased veterans, as well as give the address. The traditional 21-gun salute and "Taps" will be performed.
Due to precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Concord Cemetery Association will not be holding the traditional Memorial Day Ceremony. This year, an amateur video will be created to include aspects of the traditional ceremony including the Pledge of Allegiance, Veterans' Roster, prayers, sermon, hymns, "Taps" and gun salute. The video is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt6UUM0fENo.