News & Events

News: Funerals, grieving become private affairs in the era of coronavirus

By David Migoya

For the better part of nearly two decades, Ken Reck has played the same 24 notes about 200 times a year – sometimes more frequently – without accompaniment and at times without audience.

Each time was as important as the previous, each one to be as solemn as the next.

It took the coronavirus pandemic to silence the 85-year-old bugler from playing Taps for a fellow veteran being interred at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

“It just breaks my heart that I can’t give them that,” the Korean War veteran said of the decision by the National Cemetery Association to universally prohibit any military honors – Taps or rifle salvos – for interments during the pandemic.

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News: Memorial Day’s sea of flags will be missing from national cemeteries because of coronavirus

By David Migoya

The sight of thousands of tiny American flags precisely pegged against rows of symmetrically aligned headstones in the nation’s national cemeteries has been a rite of each Memorial Day for as long as can be remembered.

This year, that symphony of flags will not be seen, the casualties of a national pandemic leaving its own mark on history.

“That’s how it is, though. It’s very sad,” said Morrison Fussner, the founder of Flags for Fallen Vets, a Texas-based nonprofit that each year places about 650,000 of those tiny flags at the base of each veteran’s grave marker in 13 national cemeteries, including the three in Colorado.

“Our whole purpose to exist is to ensure those flags get placed,” Fussner said. “It is what we do. We place them for all in a cemetery.”

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News: Funeral homes work to help give vets proper honors as national cemeteries still don't allow funerals

By: Sean Towle

DENVER — Memorial Day weighs heavily on families who have postponed funeral plans because of rules related to COVID-19 at national cemeteries. However, some funeral homes are working with families to honor veterans amid the restrictions.

Anne Ramirez and her family were making their first trip to see her parents' final resting place in Fort Logan on Memorial Day. But due to COVID-19, no ceremony could be done.

"My dad passed away. He had kidney cancer. He passed away March 5, and my mom suddenly passed away on April 14," said Ramirez.

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