AUGUSTA — The Maine Veterans’ Cemetery System will join Wreaths Across America for National Wreaths Across America Day on Saturday, Dec. 19; albeit events will look a bit different this year.

Wreaths Across America will deliver wreaths to Maine’s four veterans’ cemeteries, and those wreaths will be laid on grave sites of our veterans by program volunteers. In year’s past, the Maine Veterans’ Cemetery System received very generous donations of additional wreaths that would arrive either the day of, or a few days after, formal events. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, the cemetery system will not be asking members of the public to assist in the laying of wreaths.

Maine’s Veterans’ Cemeteries will be open normal hours for visitors to place wreaths at the site of their loved one’s grave.

“The Maine Veterans’ Cemetery System will continue to honor the service of our veterans,” said David Richmond, director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services, according to a news release from the organization. “We understand the importance and significance of a family member paying their respects during these difficult times; however, we must also take into consideration the health and well-being of our grounds crew and the public.”

Scott Brown, superintendent of the Maine Veterans’ Cemetery System, said “we ask our visitors to be mindful of those who are more susceptible to this virus as well as our dedicated staff. While we encourage families and friends to pay their respects to their loved ones, we also ask that for public safety purposes, our visitors adhere to social distancing guidance in our cemeteries.”

In observance of the Christmas holiday, the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services will be closed Friday, Dec. 25. Normal office hours will resume at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28.

For more information on the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery System, visit maine.gov/veterans.

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