STURGIS, S.D. — Committal services at Black Hills National Cemetery for families who are putting loved ones to rest will resume on June 9.
“We are pleased to resume committal services and military funeral honors at Black Hills National Cemetery,” said Cemetery Director Terry Corkins. “We will also soon be contacting families who chose direct interments to schedule memorial services and military funeral honors, if desired. We appreciate the patience and understanding families have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic and are eager to begin returning to normal operations.”
Black Hills National Cemetery has remained open for interments and visitations throughout the coronavirus pandemic. However on March 23, the cemetery began deferring committal services and military funeral honors as a matter of health and safety.
Families with interments scheduled for June 9 will be given the option of a committal service at the end of the interment. Military funeral honors, that are usually provided by the Department of Defense and volunteer honor guards, will be based on local availability.
The Black Hills National Cemetery continues to follow the guidelines of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The cemetery will limit the number of people attending committal services, require all people attending to practice social distancing for those that are not from the same household, ensure that everyone wears face coverings while also encourage the frequent use of hand sanitizer. The cemetery also asks that sick individuals stay home.
Committal and memorial services at the Black Hills National Cemetery will be limited to 10 members from each family as well as guests. Then number of cemetery employees will not count towards the number of people allowed to the respective family.
Once restrictions have been lifted, families may continue to choose to be able to do a direct interment service rather than a memorial service.
Memorial services for Veterans and eligible family members who held a interment service without a committal service between March 23 and June 8 will start in July. Representatives from the cemetery will reach out to the families in the coming weeks to go over their options and to schedule a memorial service, if desired.
Families may also contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-800-535-1117 to schedule a service after June 29. For more information, you can visit the National Cemetery Administration website here or contact the Black Hills National Cemetery Director, Terry Corkins at 1-605-347-3830.