To: All members of the Saratoga National Cemetery Honor Guard Assoc.
From: The SNCHGA Executive Board
We are all aware the Covid 19 virus is overwhelming all aspects of our lives. This is a very dangerous virus and serious
health risk. The Veterans Administration is working diligently to protect all personnel who come in contact with others
at any of their facilities, including the National Cemeteries. Scott Lamb, Director of the Gerald BH Solomon Saratoga
National Cemetery has indicated there are measures/changes being implemented on a daily basis to minimize the
spread of the virus to his employees and all visitors to the cemetery.
It is the intention of our officers to encourage safe practices by all our members and their families, following the
recommendations of the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and any directives by New York State
or local governments.
As such, it has been decided by the Honor Guard Executive Board, effective Monday March 16, 2020 and until further notice, to cease all Honor Guard activities at the cemetery and elsewhere. This decision was not easily reached, but was done so in an abundance of caution to protect our members. We will provide no military honors, color guard activities, or hold any meetings until notified by the Commander. With daily changes being instituted by federal, state and local
agencies regarding group gatherings, it may not be long until the decision is no longer ours. The cemetery director is
currently recommending direct to site burials to all funeral directors. He will also will be advising funeral directors of our
decision. As of today there has been no change in policy by Active Duty Military personnel.
It has been suggested that we offer to do a combined ceremony later in the year for any delayed ceremonial interments,
or direct burials, similar to the “unclaimed veteran” services performed by the Patriot Guard. This would include full
honors including rifle salute, taps and flag and shells presented to any families not already afforded such honors. We
may also provide individual honors. A decision on when and what will be determined in the future.
We must remain flexible to whatever is decided and directed over the next few weeks and months and above all,
protect the health and safety of our members.
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