American Legion cancels Memorial Day parade, ceremony in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 April 2020 at 10:29 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Wally Skrypnik (left) of the American Legion and Mark Roberts of the VFW Post carry flags in the honor guard to start the Memorial Day parade in Albion last year on May 27.

ALBION – The Memorial Day parade and the ceremony that follows at the Albion Middle School have been cancelled due to concerns about bringing groups of people together during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s something that happens to be done for the betterment of the community,” said Gary Befus, who coordinates the Memorial Day observance along with Phil Warne of the Legion.

The Legion will still be putting about 2,000 flags on the graves of veterans at Mount Albion Cemetery, St’ Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery and other cemeteries in town.

Normally, local scouts help with that effort but Befus said the Legion members will take care of it this year. He said the scouts often move in a pack of kids when they place the flags and he wanted to avoid that during the pandemic.

The Honor Guard will recognize veterans on Memorial Day with gun salutes at the local cemeteries. Befus said the Honor Guard will meet at the Legion post the morning of May 25 and will be given sanitizer. Each member will be wearing gloves and driving in separate vehicles. Normally the Honor Guard stands close next to each other but they will be spread out more on Memorial Day, Befus said.

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