Modified services to be held in Manhattan for Memorial Day

Picture: MGN. Arlington National Cemetery.
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- The American Legion will not be conducting the traditional Memorial Day ceremony in Manhattan this year due to COVID-19.

Both cemeteries, Sunrise and Sunset, will remain open and no appointments are necessary to visit graves. Social distancing is still strongly encouraged.

“Keeping everyone safe is our goal,” says Kirk Meyer, First Vice Commander of American Legion Post 17.

Instead a modified service will be held Monday, May 25, at 9 a.m. at Sunset Cemetery. The ceremony will last up to 20 minutes and will include a prayer, volley and traditional playing of “Taps.”

Inclement weather could still cancel the ceremony as it will not be held in the rain.

Anyone in attendance or visiting graves should maintain social distancing as well as wear masks or other protective gear.

The City would like to remind residents not to park on grave sites. Parking will be available on the sides of the road and visitors will be reminded not to block traffic.

“We’re working hard to make sure the grounds are well-maintained and everything looks beautiful,” says Mike Mohler, Cemetery Sexton.

Mohler and his crew have prepared the grounds at both Sunrise and Sunset cemeteries for the holiday. With a hiring freeze in place, the 8-member seasonal team that usually maintains the 120 acres of land has been foregone and all work has fallen on full-time staff.

Graves can be located at the online map tool. An appointment can also be made with Mohler by calling 785-587-2780 during regular business hours.

Sunset Cemetery is located at 2000 Leavenworth Street. Sunrise Cemetery is located at 2901 Stagg Hill Road.