United States Daughters of 1812 (U.S.D. 1812), United Daughters of the Confederacy, and Daughters of the American Revolution were among organizations represented at the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery at North Little Rock on May 27.
Organizations also included the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary, Disabled Veterans and Auxiliary and American Legion and Auxiliary, according to a news release.
Gold Star family members also attended the ceremony hosted by the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA.) Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was closed to the public and live streamed over the cemetery’s Facebook page.
“This is a departure from the usual public ceremony held every year. Across the nation there were no large ceremonies to honor the fallen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, there were no mass Flag placements at gravesites,” according to a news release.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson was guest speaker. Included in the ceremony were Major General Kendall Penn, Arkansas National Guard (ANG) Adjutant General, ANG Command Sgt. Major Steven Veazey, ANG State Chaplain Lt. Colonel Jeremy Miller and Secretary ADVA Colonel Nate Todd. The event also featured a flyover of World War II era planes by the Commemorative Air Force Razorback Wing, based at North Little Rock Municipal Airport.
The ceremony included placing service wreaths for each branch of the service. A wreath remembering all Arkansas veterans was placed by Hutchinson, Penn and Todd. Attendance was limited to 50 guests and invitations were issued for one representative from each service organization. All were requested to wear face masks and social distancing was enforced.
Both ADVA state cemeteries are open and will continue to provide interments for veterans and eligible individuals. ADVA cemeteries are following the VA National Cemetery Administration (NCA) guidelines. ADVA cemeteries and the National Cemetery Administration are continuing to adjust services in light of the best practices urged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.
U.S.D. 1812 has supported Arkansas Veterans since World War I. For information regarding the group’s patriotic activities, contact Sheila Beatty-Krout at 501-922-7488.