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By PJ Ferguson

While Whitehall’s Memorial Day Parade has been canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, American Legion Post 83 will not let our deceased veterans go without tribute for the holiday.

On Saturday, May 23, Legion members, along with those who wish to volunteer, will be placing flags on veterans’ graves at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, beginning at 10 a.m.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear masks and practice proper social distancing protocol during this effort.

The group will move on to Greenmount Cemetery next. Between these two cemeteries alone, there are more than 600 graves of veterans, according to American Legion Post 83 chairman Jim Lafayette.

“An interesting note is that the Boardman Cemetery contains 121 Civil War veterans including one Confederate veteran,” wrote Lafayette.

Throughout the day, Post 83 will be decorating more than 1,500 veteran graves in the towns of Whitehall, Dresden and Putnam.

For services on Memorial Day, Post 83 will hold a brief wreath-laying ceremony, accompanied by Taps, at 10 a.m. in Riverside Park.

“Due to the unfortunate situation we found ourselves in, we have to discourage spectators,” wrote Lafayette.

The ceremony will be repeated at Navy Gun Park, with no gatherings following the services.

Post 83 Commander Justin Macura will oversee all the events.

On June 4, Michael Rocque will step into the commander’s position, as Macura makes his second deployment for the National Guard.

“We salute him for his honorable service to God, country and the American Legion,” said Lafayette.

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