V.A. to hold Memorial Day ceremony at Black Hills National Cemetery

STURGIS, S.D. – The Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) will hold a Memorial Day commemoration ceremony at Black Hills National Cemetery beginning at 11 a.m., Monday.

Ceremonies across the U.S. haven’t happened for two years due to COVID-19.

For those wanting to honor the fallen, the V.A. has a few rules regarding the grounds.

Year-round, fresh cut flowers are allowed to be placed on graves. Artificial flowers and potted plants are permitted when it won’t interfere with grounds maintenance.

For the Memorial holiday, floral decorations can be placed on graves from the Friday before Memorial Day until the Sunday following Memorial Day.

With high winds being frequent, plastic ties and laminated flower tags are provided in the front foyer to secure flower arrangements, but they cannot be secured to headstones or markers.

Items not permitted include grave blankets of any size, permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects and similar items. Items that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery or considered hazardous to cemetery workers, like beads that can get caught in mowers, are also not supposed to be on the grounds.

Black Hills National Cemetery is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. The cemetery office is usually open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, but it will be closed Memorial Day.

With a few notable faces like Sergeant Charles Windolph, Troop H of Custer’s 7th Cavalry, the grounds also have a number of memorials to observe like a memorial to Korean War veterans and A 52 Charlie memorial.

You can locate a grave by looking at a kiosk in the foyer of the cemetery’s administration building, which is open 24/7, or you can search online here.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News