Public can observe Memorial Day at Rock Island Arsenal

Local News
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Rock Island Arsenal invites the community to honor the fallen, and joins the United States Department of Veterans Affairs invitation for families and the community to pay tribute to those laid to rest.

The public is invited to visit the gravesites of those interred at Rock Island National Cemetery during Memorial Day Weekend. May 29-31 will be a special event when visitors can be vetted at either the Moline or Rock Island gates with a valid state-issued driver’s license to access the cemetery.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced it will lift all restrictions on gathering sizes at committal and memorial services in VA national cemeteries starting Wednesday. Limitations on the number of persons permitted to attend committal and memorial services have been in place since June 9, 2020.

Between March 23 and June 8, 2020, VA national cemeteries performed only direct interments, and did not permit committal or memorial services due to the pandemic. Consistent with the new CDC guidance, NCA still will require persons who are not fully vaccinated to practice the safety procedures recommended by the CDC – such as wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing – while visiting a cemetery or attending a service.

All people visiting the arsenal outside of the special event dates who are older than age 16 must have a pass, which can be obtained from the Visitor Control Center at the Moline Gate. The cemetery will be open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. These hours will be maintained throughout Memorial Day weekend so that visitors can come when they want and not face crowds on Memorial Day.

All gravesites will be marked with a U.S. Flag by active-duty installation personnel and cemetery staff in the days leading up to Memorial Day. In addition, visitors can bring flowers and other items of respect to mark the graves of their loved ones.

There will not be a public ceremony at the Cemetery on Memorial Day this year, but the cemetery will hold a private wreath-laying ceremony to honor the fallen.

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