By Kim Ratcliff | May 22, 2020 at 1:16 PM EDT – Updated May 26 at 4:03 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Every year, on Memorial Day, the New Hanover County Veterans Council puts on an elaborate ceremony at the Wilmington National Cemetery. This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was much smaller.
Chairman Don Betz said they wanted to something rather than nothing and when the governor announced groups outside could now be a maximum of 25 people instead of 10, they felt like they could have a respectful ceremony.
Monday’s ceremony took place at 11 a.m. like normal, but only with a handful of people. Betz and a small group of veterans planned to pray, sing, and proceed with the traditional reading of names of those who have died. There were no guest speakers, dignitaries, or specially invited guests.
They practiced social distancing and some wore masks.
Betz said he knows people wanted to come to pay their respects, they just didn’t want to encourage a crowd because of the “safer at home” guidelines.
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