The day for cookouts, family gatherings, and honoring those who died serving the United States, will be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local Memorial Day services have been altered amid lockdown restrictions, while others have been cancelled altogether.
Though the annual Memorial Day parade in downtown Latrobe will not take place this year, Latrobe Legion Post 515 is holding a nonpublic service Monday, May 25, in a coordinated effort with Latrobe VFW Post 3414 and No. 738 Rolling Rock Detachment of The Marine Corps League.
The service will be recorded and later broadcast online, according to post commander Barry Novosel.
“We are limiting it to officers of the three organizations,” Novosel said, so the gathering does not exceed 25 individuals in accordance with state guidelines.
The nonpublic service will include a firing squad, Novosel says.
On its Facebook page, the City of Latrobe posted the following message relating to Memorial Day: “The City of Latrobe Administration and Transfer Station will be closed for business on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.
“Sadly, this year we cannot come together as a community to honor and remember those who lost their lives while securing our freedom. Please take a moment in silence to remember those brave soles and remember their sacrifice.”
Post 515 is also planning to reschedule a service — which normally takes place the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend — where the names of veterans who died in the past year are read aloud. Novosel said that service could take place in July.
Additionally, to honor veterans who have passed away, Post 515 Cemetery Detail recently placed flags and markers at gravesites in Latrobe cemeteries. Novosel said veterans were honored from Saint Mary, Unity and Saint Vincent Cemeteries, along with several smaller ones in the Latrobe area.
The Youngstown Volunteer Fire Department announced that its Memorial Day services for Baggaley in Unity Township and Youngstown have been cancelled.
Firefighter Anthony Matusky said the department opted to cancel the traditional services due to “concerns for the safety of our members and the community.”
Matusky added the department “hopes to see everyone next year.”
In Ligonier, American Legion Post 267 posted on its Facebook page that its Memorial Day service is cancelled “due to the current situation.”
At St. Vincent College, archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, OSB, will celebrate an online Memorial Day service at 9 a.m. Monday, May 25, from the Mary Mother of Mercy Mausoleum Chapel located on the Unity Township campus.
The service, college officials said, “will honor those who have died while serving our country.”
The service will be available online at https://vimeo.com/user109924459 , on the St. Vincent Archabbey and Seminary Facebook page or on the Archabbey YouTube page.
Derry Borough officials earlier this month announced that because of the county’s yellow status banning large groups, the annual Memorial Day parade will be canceled.