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Memorial Day Services Modified, but Tradition Lives On

With traditional Memorial Day ceremonies having been canceled this year due to health concerns regarding COVID-19, the Door County Veterans Service Office (VSO) and commanders from Door County veterans’ organizations are finding ways to honor those from Door County who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

The VSO created a short video that will be available for public viewing starting May 23 on the Door County website (co.door.wi.gov) and the Sturgeon Bay website (sturgeonbaywi.org). It commemorates Door County’s fallen soldiers by carrying on the honor roll tradition.

Joe Knappen, commander for VFW Post 3088, took part in the recorded ceremony last week in front of the Veterans Memorial in Sturgeon Bay.

“All the Door County men who were killed in the war back to the Civil War – we took turns reading the names and ringing the bell,” Knappen said.  

With the Maifest Parade in Jacksonport canceled this year, Knappen’s post and others won’t be marching, but his post will still place flags at local cemeteries. Others will perform small ceremonies. 

The Billy Weiss American Legion Post  527 will travel to cemeteries from Egg Harbor to Sister Bay, and VFW Post 8337 will travel to cemeteries north of Sister Bay, each with small honor guards and the sounding of “Taps.” The modified services replace the customary public Memorial Day ceremonies at Little Sister Cemetery.

“We want [families] to know that their loved one’s service to our country is not forgotten, even during this pandemic,” American Legion Commander Bill Becker said.