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Massachusetts veterans’ cemeteries to resume services on Friday; suspended since March because of COVID-19

A folded flag presented to the family of a deceased veteran at the Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Agawam (Don Treeger / The Republican Staff-Shot/TNS)

The state Department of Veterans’ Services announced Monday that military committal services at the state’s two veterans cemeteries in Agawam and Winchendon will resume on Friday, more than 3 months after they were suspended because of COVID-19.

The services, which include the folding of the flag, playing Taps, and a firing volley, are being allowed to resume with some precautions, according to the announcement.

A military salute fired at services for a deceased veteran at Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Agawam
(Don Treeger / The Republican Staff-Shot/TNS)

Among them are that services are limited to no more than 10 family members, and requiring masks and social distancing inside the chapel. People without a mask will be provided with one.

Hand sanitizers will be available at the entrance and exit to the chapel, and staff will disinfect chairs, doorknobs, and other surfaces between each service.

Services at the two cemeteries were suspended on March 17 at the start of the COVID-19 public health emergency as a precaution to protect the health of family members and cemetery staff.


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