Boy Scouts banned from planting American flags on veterans' graves for Memorial Day due to coronavirus

  
Via:  jasper2529  •  2 weeks ago  •  38 comments

By:   Eric Shawn

Boy Scouts banned from planting American flags on veterans' graves for Memorial Day due to coronavirus
"We just commemorated VE Day, this is the generation that lived through the adversity of the great depression, they won World War Two. What is it going to say about our generation if we can't figure out a way to honor the greatest generation by placing flags at their graves on Memorial Day?" asked Bellone.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T




A longtime Memorial Day weekend tradition to honor   veterans  is now canceled due to the   coronavirus   pandemic, but there are persisting calls to bring it back.

For decades, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other groups have devoted part of the holiday to place small   American flags   at the graves of veterans and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice as a way to honor our country's war heroes.

Yet this year the Department of Veteran's Affairs has prohibited public events at the sites because of COVID-19. The Boy Scouts and other groups have been barred from carrying out the mass flag placements.

On Long Island, N.Y., where more than 500,000 veterans are buried at two national military cemeteries, there are demands for the VA to reconsider and rescind the ban.

"If we can't figure out a way to make sure we are placing flags at their graves to honor them, then something is seriously wrong," said Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone, whose county includes the sprawling Calverton and Long Island National Cemeteries, which hold more veterans than any other military cemetery in the nation, including Arlington National Cemetery.

Bellone is confident that officials can carry out a plan that would keep the Scouts safe.

"What we're asking the VA to do is, rather than have a blanket policy across the country, allow the national cemeteries at the local level, to make this determination in conjunction with the local health department,” he told Fox News. “We will take the responsibility to say that this flag placement plan meets the state and national guidelines but give us that opportunity to do it, allow us to honor our fallen heroes.”

Every year, the members of Boy Scout Troop 443 from Middle Island, N.Y., place thousands of flags next to the headstones at one of the Suffolk sites, the Calverton National Cemetery.

For the past five years, 18-year-old Eagle Scout Kieran Monaghan has been one of the Scouts who has walked the hallowed ground and gingerly placed an American flag next to each headstone. He is confident that his troop can again carry out their mission this year, safely, if only given the chance.

The U.S. National Cemetery Administration, the federal agency within the VA that operates the sites, told Fox News that because of the "national emergency, VA national cemeteries will not be hosting public Memorial Day events," and that includes "mass placement of gravesite flags."


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Jasper2529
1  seeder  Jasper2529    2 weeks ago

Donald Trump is off topic.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
2  seeder  Jasper2529    2 weeks ago
The agency added that "families and community members are welcome to visit national cemeteries throughout Memorial Day weekend and place individual flags on graves to honor friends and family. We ask that all visitors adhere to CDC, state and local health, safety, and travel guidelines."

So, unlimited numbers of families and community members are allowed to place flags on the graves of the fallen, but the Boy Scouts can't? Hmmm.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Jasper2529 @2    2 weeks ago
Hmmm.

Hmmm. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

All for planting flags at veterans graves. They can skip one year though. 

 
 
 
Jasper2529
3.1  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago
All for planting flags at veterans graves. They can skip one year though. 

Don't you think that that comment would sound rather cold-hearted to grieving families?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Jasper2529 @3.1    2 weeks ago

Recent war dead, yes. 

I dont think it would bother families of those killed in WW2, Korea, or VietNam a bit. 

ANY ceremony such as this could be skipped for one year with no ill effects. 

 
 
 
Jasper2529
3.1.2  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.1    2 weeks ago

Dead is dead, John. It doesn't matter how long ago a person died. Sheesh.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
3.1.3  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.1    2 weeks ago
Recent war dead, yes. 

I dont think it would bother families of those killed in WW2, Korea, or VietNam a bit. 

ANY ceremony such as this could be skipped for one year with no ill effects. 

Who do you propose should make the almighty decision as to an "acceptable time limit" for grieving and/or paying respects to those who gave their lives for our nation, John? 

 
 
 
squiggy
3.2  squiggy  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago
They can skip one year though. 

... because it's too hard.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago
What is it going to say about our generation if we can't figure out a way to honor the greatest generation by placing flags at their graves on Memorial Day?" asked Bellone.

Uh, nothing? 

 
 
 
MonsterMash
4.1  MonsterMash  replied to  JohnRussell @4    2 weeks ago
What is it going to say about our generation if we can't figure out a way to honor the greatest generation by placing flags at their graves on Memorial Day?" asked Bellone.
Uh, nothing? 

[deleted]

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  MonsterMash @4.1    2 weeks ago

Sorry, skipping one year of this tradition doesnt say a damn thing about what people think about the nations war dead. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    2 weeks ago
 skipping one year of this tradition doesnt say a damn thing about what people think about the nations war dead. 

Not even close to what he said.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.2    2 weeks ago

Who asked you by the way?

My comment is pretty clear. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.3    2 weeks ago
Who asked you by the way?

No one. Is there a problem?

My comment is pretty clear. 

Oh, it certainly is, JR, it certainly is.

And still nothing to do with what he stated.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.5  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.4    2 weeks ago
That says a lot about you, John.

That is what he said. 

and this is what i said

Sorry, skipping one year of this tradition doesnt say a damn thing about what people think about the nations war dead. 

It certainly does have something to do with what he said. [deleted]

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.5    2 weeks ago

Why are you quoting others' posts to me?

I have no trouble reading AND understanding them. I have read them, which prompted my response to your post.

It really appears to me that you have completely misunderstood the original line of "What is it going to say about our generation if we can't figure out a way to honor the greatest generation by placing flags at their graves on Memorial Day?" asked Bellone."

He is saying that the greatest generation sacrificed and improvised and figured out how to get things done, and now we can't figure out how to put flags on gravesites because of a pandemic that allows us to do many other things?

Really not one damn thing to do with people thinking that people of the current generation don't have respect for fallen heroes.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.7  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.6    2 weeks ago

Will you stop droning?

The idea that if a year was skipped of putting flags on soldiers graves it means that we dont care about them is absurd. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.7    2 weeks ago
Will you stop droning?

Will you stop babbling?

The idea that if a year was skipped of putting flags on soldiers graves it means that we dont care about them is absurd. 

I don't see where I said anything of the sort.

That is a strawman argument. Do better.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.9  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.8    2 weeks ago

Go away troll. 

 
 
 
MonsterMash
4.1.10  MonsterMash  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    2 weeks ago

John, you're viewing this story as a political issue (as you do most all articles that don't have a thing to do with politics) instead of looking at it as honoring those who have parished that have served in the military.  Most Democratic politicians are against reopening the nation you see this as going against the Democrat's wishes, therefore you're against it.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.11  JohnRussell  replied to  MonsterMash @4.1.10    2 weeks ago
John, you're viewing this story as a political issue

Not at all.  I am all for honoring the American war dead. It is not NECESSARY to do it during a pandemic though. Believe me, they will understand. 

 
 
 
Jasper2529
5  seeder  Jasper2529    2 weeks ago
"We just commemorated VE Day, this is the generation that lived through the adversity of the great depression, they won World War Two. What is it going to say about our generation if we can't figure out a way to honor the greatest generation by placing flags at their graves on Memorial Day?" asked Bellone [Suffolk County executive, Democrat].

Well said, Mr. Bellone.

 
 
 
MonsterMash
5.1  MonsterMash  replied to  Jasper2529 @5    2 weeks ago
What is it going to say about our generation if we can't figure out a way to honor the greatest generation by placing flags at their graves on Memorial Day?" asked Bellone [Suffolk County executive, Democrat].

A Democrat said that? Well, that changes everything for John, now he's all for placing flags on veterans graves.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
5.1.1  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  MonsterMash @5.1    2 weeks ago

Yes, Steve Bellone, Suffolk County's County Executive, is a Democrat. His political party isn't mentioned in the article, so I looked him up. That's why I put [ ] as a descriptive in comment 5 . Others could have done the same before posting nasty comments about people who want to honor ALL Americans who gave their lives for our nation's freedom.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
6  Perrie Halpern R.A.    2 weeks ago

I have to say that we Long Islanders are very upset about this. This is an outside activity and plenty of room for social distancing. This is a very time-honored event here. Also the DAR is having issues with putting up wreaths at memorials. 

I'm a big supporter of taking care during the pandemic, but this is a bit ridiculous.... 

 
 
 
Jasper2529
6.1  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6    2 weeks ago

Thanks for your input, Perrie. This story really disturbed me when I read that the agency allows many to enter and place their flags but bans others.

IMO, social distancing could easily be achieved at these cemeteries so the Boy Scouts and other groups who've previously participated could continue their traditions.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
6.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Jasper2529 @6.1    2 weeks ago

I realize that most people who don't live on Long Island get this, but we have strong traditions here, many of them going back to the Revolutionary War. Honoring our dead servicemen with flags and wreaths has been a part of our culture here and the boy and girl scouts (I was a Girl Scout and a troop leader for the Boy Scouts) teach the children about respect for those who gave their lives for this country. 

I don't get why the Boy Scouts couldn't do this. I am sure that their troop leaders would have made sure all guidelines were kept. Part of their duty is to be respectful of laws and guidelines. 

 
 
 
Jasper2529
6.1.2  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6.1.1    2 weeks ago
I realize that most people who don't live on Long Island get this but we have strong traditions here, many of them going back to the Revolutionary War. 

It really isn't just a Long Island thing, Perrie. Many areas of the USA where I've lived and worked have expressed the same strong ties and traditions that honor our history.

I didn't include this sad sentence from the article in my intro:

Boy Scout troops from California, Maryland, Missouri and Wisconsin have also been among those scrapping their plans to plant flags, at least for now.
 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
6.1.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Jasper2529 @6.1.2    2 weeks ago
It really isn't just a Long Island thing, Perrie. Many areas of the USA where I've lived and worked have expressed the same strong ties and traditions that honor our history.

I realize that, it's just that sometimes I think that people view Long Islanders / New Yorkers as being vastly different than the rest of the country. It really isn't true.

Boy Scout troops from California, Maryland, Missouri and Wisconsin have also been among those scrapping their plans to plant flags, at least for now.

That is really sad. 

 
 
 
Jasper2529
6.1.4  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6.1.3    2 weeks ago
I realize that, it's just that sometimes I think that people view Long Islanders / New Yorkers as being vastly different than the rest of the country. It really isn't true.

I hear you. But, I don't think that way because I have dozens of relatives and in-laws who live in NYC, Downstate, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, LI, and Mohawk Valley/Upstate/North Country NY. Anyone who puts everyone from a particular state into one basket is ignorant, IMO.

 
 
 
Snuffy
6.1.5  Snuffy  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6.1.1    2 weeks ago
I don't get why the Boy Scouts couldn't do this. I am sure that their troop leaders would have made sure all guidelines were kept.

When I heard this story my first thought was someone was afraid of the liability. If a scout gets sick will the cemetery take the blame and is there a financial liability in this as well.  It's sad that this was my first thought. It says something about me and it says a lot about the state of this country IMO.

 
 
 
Ender
6.2  Ender  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6    2 weeks ago

They always do it here. The little flags and wreaths.

Not to sound contrary yet I always thought it was a waste. All the little flags and wreaths just end up as trash.

There should be a better way to honour people.

Before people jump on me, I am not saying they have to or should stop, maybe just a more eco friendly way of going about it.

But tradition is what it is and I agree that them doing it wouldn't change the course of the virus or put anyone at risk.

 
 
 
squiggy
6.2.1  squiggy  replied to  Ender @6.2    2 weeks ago
maybe just a more eco friendly way of going about it.

Why, yes. We could also dig up and compost the bodies, and farm that land.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
6.2.2  seeder  Jasper2529  replied to  Ender @6.2    2 weeks ago

Good comment, Ender. Thank you!

 
 
 
charger 383
7  charger 383    2 weeks ago

The Legion Post here is placing flags at local cemeteries and will keep a distance while doing it.  Somebody at the VA is overreacting,  this can be done in a safe way.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
8  Tacos!    2 weeks ago

How hard is this? Give all the kids masks. And gloves, if you like. I see no reason to cancel it.

 
 
 
Kavika
9  Kavika     2 weeks ago

I find this to be quite disturbing. A small tribute to the hundreds of thousands that have served our county and that paid the ultimate price should not be stopped. I'm quite sure that this could be handled safely by the Boy Scouts. 

Honor the Warrior, they come in all colors.

512

 
 
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