WESTERN TREASURE VALLEY — While many events honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. military have been canceled this year in light of novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, several local posts will still be conducting Memorial Day ceremonies. American Legion posts in Nyssa and Payette, as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in New Plymouth will offer a combined eight ceremonies between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday.
At Nyssa’s Hilltop Cemetery, the American Legion Post No. 79 will conduct ceremonies, however, they will be reduced due to the pandemic. They will start at 11 a.m. Monday.
Because of the directive to have no more 25 people in a gathering, those attending will be asked to stay in their vehicles so more people can be there, according to Betty Holcomb, of the auxiliary.
The ceremony will include a gun salute and the playing of “Taps,” which will be repeated at Nyssa’s River Park to honor those veterans lost at sea.
American Legion Post No. 33 in Payette is moving forward with its annual ceremonies, with three services planned. The first one will be held at Rosedale Memorial Gardens at 10 a.m. This will be followed by a second service at Riverside Cemetery at 11 a.m., and a third at Lions Club Park at 1 p.m. There will be a speech from the American Legion National, rifle detail and playing of taps at each service.
Post Commander Gary Duff says that while planning for the events has a unique challenge this year, his colleagues otherwise haven’t had too much difficulty.
“COVID-19 has not affected us that much other than making sure dates are in compliance with the State wide plan,” said Duff via email on May 18. “It has not been that much different than the past.”
Duff said the size of each site should be conducive to social distancing, and reminds those who plan to attend to keep their distance … six feet apart.
Local Boy Scouts will be involved in the services at Rosedale Cemetery, while Treasure Valley Military Honors will perform services at all three sites.
“The services at Lyons Park also includes the New Plymouth [Veterans of Foreign Wars],” added Duff.
The New Plymouth Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9036 will also host three services. The first will be at 10 a.m. Applegate-Kennedy Cemetery. Following that are ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. at Blacks Bridge, and at 11 a.m. Park View Cemetery.
Those who can attend the ceremonies in Payette and New Plymouth are urged to practice social distancing while there.