Loeffler Urges VA to Reconsider Policy Prohibiting Volunteers from Placing American Flags on Gravesites for Memorial Day
Says Volunteers Can Maintain Safety Guidelines While Continuing Longstanding Tradition to Honor Our Heroes
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) urged the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to allow groups of volunteers to continue the longstanding tradition of placing American flags on each gravesite at the Marietta National Cemetery and the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.
Loeffler, who is the daughter and granddaughter of veterans and a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and Under Secretary Randy Reeves after the department decided to prohibit the mass placement of American flags at national cemeteries on Memorial Day due to COVID-19.
“As we work together to combat the effects of this devastating disease, I write to you in regard to the recent decision made by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prohibit the mass placement of American flags at national cemeteries on Memorial Day,” Loeffler wrote. “While I understand the need to limit large gatherings in order to abide by social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I believe that the process of placing flags on gravesites can be accomplished while still adhering to CDC, state, and local safety guidelines. Therefore, I ask that you consider allowing small groups of volunteers to continue to participate in this longstanding annual tradition.
“Every year, local volunteers place tens of thousands of American flags on each grave at the Marietta National Cemetery and the Georgia National Cemetery. This coordinated display of patriotism comes together with hours of planning and preparation, designed to bring comfort to those whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice. If small groups of volunteers are able to abide by necessary safety restrictions, I believe their work to honor our service men and women should continue as planned on Memorial Day.”
The full letter is available here.