Even as County Executive Steve Bellone (D) awaits word on a possible policy change that would enable flag placement on Memorial Day for veterans buried at National Cemeteries, he has partnered with 15 non-veteran cemeteries to schedule flag placements on Saturday, May 23.
The County will work with local Boy Scout Troops and Veterans organizations to conduct the flag placements.
The Suffolk County Veterans Services Agency is working with local Boy Scouts to identify the sites for flag placement and with the Suffolk County Health Department to create safety procedures that will meet state and federal guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those who are placing flags to honor veterans will pick up flags at safe distances of six feet and will be required to wear face coverings.
Bellone is asking the Department of Veterans Affairs to donate the thousands of flags it purchased that would typically show appreciation for veterans at national cemeteries.
The county executive wrote a letter last week to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, requesting an amendment for the suspended honors at Calverton National Cemetery and Long island National Cemetery. Suffolk County has more veterans than any other count in New York State.
“This plan demonstrates that we can safely conduct group flag placements to honor our Veterans while protecting the public health,” Bellone said in a statement.
The participating cemeteries are:
• Washington Memorial Park Cemetery, Mount Sinai
• Union Cemetery, Middle Island
• St. John’s the Evangelist Cemetery, Riverhead
• Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, Southampton
• Mt Pleasant Cemetery and Crematory, Center Moriches
• Huntington Rural Cemetery, Huntington
• Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Coram
• Queen of All Saints Cemetery, Central Islip
• First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Southold
• Shaarey Pardes Accabonac Grove Cemetery, East Hampton
• St. Ann’s Episcopal Church Cemetery, Sayville
• North Babylon Cemetery, Babylon
• Babylon Rural Cemetery, Babylon
• St. Patricks Cemetery, Smithtown