Communities in Dodge and Jefferson counties will observe Memorial Day on Monday, but many places have needed to alter previously scheduled plans due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In Watertown, most elements of the traditional ceremony will be pre-recorded and shown beginning at 10 a.m. Monday on the City of Watertown’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and Watertown Cable Channels. This includes the Veterans of Foreign Wars bridge ceremony and gun salute to honor those who died at sea. Ron Krueger, Watertown American Legion Post Commander, will be in the studio giving opening and closing remarks on what Memorial Day entails for the broadcast. There will be a chaplain-led prayer, the national anthem will be played and Mayor Emily McFarland may speak.
The pavers for Veterans Park are still being sold and will be installed and dedicated on Veterans Day. Flags will still be placed on veterans’ graves in the city’s five cemeteries. There will not be a parade.
Activities in other area communities are as follows:
There will be a public ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday at Hustisford Cemetery on the south end of town.
A flag will be placed on each veterans’ grave site and Randy Jayco is slated to guest speak.
Randy Nehls, of Hustisford American Legion Post No. 420, will commence the ceremony by giving thoughts on Memorial Day. Organizers are experimenting with the idea of using a long flag poll nearby to put at half-staff before raising it when the program concludes. There will be the sounding of taps and when Jayco finishes speaking, a 21-gun salute will occur. There is also tentatively a 21-gun salute planned on the bridge, for those who died at sea, along with the sounding of taps.
The ceremony would be canceled in the event of inclement weather.
American Legion Post No. 15 will hold limited Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Juneau Area Veterans Memorial (Juneau Public Library). At 11 a.m., a ceremony will take place at the Juneau City Cemetery. Both of these events are open to the public while keeping social-distancing practices in mind. There will not be a parade to the cemetery.
Pulled pork and shredded turkey sandwiches, as well as chips and sodas, will be available afterward at the American Legion building with proceeds going to a nearby food pantry. Drive-up service in the back of the building will also be available.
There will be a Memorial Day ceremony on Monday at 10 a.m. at Veterans Park. Charles Young will be the guest speaker. Young is a former commander of the Horicon American Legion, former Dodge County American Legion Commander and a Vietnam War veteran who recently retired after a lengthy law enforcement career.
Lunch will be served after by the Post No. 305 Auxiliary at the Legion Dugout with carryout available. There will be a 2 p.m. raffle, for which tickets will be sold at the park, and social-distancing practices will be followed.
In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place in the old Johnson Creek high school building.
Public services in Lake Mills for Memorial Day have been canceled due to COVID-19. American Legion Post No. 67 will hold a short, private ceremony on Monday at Rock Lake Cemetery that will include rifle fire, a prayer and taps being sounded.
Legion members in attendance will abide by social-distancing measures; the event is not open to the public.
The Post is planning to hold a memorial service to honor veterans who have died during the pandemic at a later time.
The city of Waterloo has canceled its annual program at Firemen’s Park to commemorate veterans and current service members.
Despite public ceremonies being unable to take place, the VFW and Legion have plans to place flags on all of the graves of local veterans prior to Monday’s holiday.
The City of Jefferson and its Veterans of Foreign Wars posts will not host a Memorial Day celebration this year.
VFW members will continue to visit Jefferson-area cemeteries, sounding taps and three-volley salutes at each. There will be no public events.
The annual Memorial Day observance at the Town of Sullivan Community Center in Rome has been canceled.
As a traditional salute to veterans, the Bob Reed Memorial American Legion Post No. 153, with the help of volunteers, will have flags on the graves of veterans at the Hoffman, Riverview and St. Luke’s/Crowder cemeteries.
The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution, passed in December 2000, asks that at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to taps.”
The veterans organizations also remind everyone in the community to show respect by flying their American flags. If a flag is flown on a flagpole, the flag should be flown at half-staff until noon, at which time it should be raised fully.