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Virginia Department of Veterans Services Cancels Public Wreath Laying Ceremonies at State Veterans Cemeteries Due To COVID-19 Restrictions  

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) has cancelled the public wreath laying cemeteries at its state veterans cemeteries in Amelia, Dublin and Suffolk during December.

“We sincerely regret that we must cancel the public portion of the annual wreath laying ceremonies normally held each December at the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia, the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin, and the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk,” said John Maxwell, VDVS Commissioner. “Because of safety concerns, along with recent restrictions on gatherings of more than 25 persons enacted to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, members of the public will not be able to participate this year in laying memorial wreaths on each veteran’s gravesite.”

Commissioner Maxwell added, “In lieu of a public event, VDVS cemetery staff will work with the volunteers of the Amelia, Dublin, and Suffolk wreath committees to adorn all graves with wreaths at varying times on Saturday and Sunday, December 19 and 20.”

Families and other members of the public are requested to delay visits to the cemeteries until the afternoon of December 20 when the wreath placements are completed.

Michael Henshaw, VDVS Director of Cemetery Services, said, “I sincerely hope the community will visit the cemeteries over the holidays to pay their respects to our veterans. Wreaths will remain in place from December 20 until January 13.”

All visitors to the Virginia state veterans cemeteries must wear facemasks, practice social distancing and adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines.

For more information about Virginia’s state veterans cemeteries including the latest information on visitation and guidelines, please visit https://www.dvs.virginia.gov/cemeteries/cemetery-information or call the cemetery office directly.

About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries.  It operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.