Memorial Day ceremonies small, but allowed, on Monday
May 23, 2020 6:00 am
Nora Mishanec and Melanie Lekocevic report for Columbia-Greene Media that there will still be Memorial Day ceremonies in most local towns on May 25, but they will be very small gatherings with 10 or fewer people in attendance. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an order May 21 allowing small gatherings for Memorial Day. The American Legions in Hudson and Chatham hold small ceremonies with prayers and rifle salutes May 25. "We have continued the tradition since 1919 and we will not miss this,” said Rick Howland Jr., chaplain of Hudson American Legion Post 184 and a former Army Reserve captain. Catskill, Greenville, Coxsackie, and Cairo won't hold any parades this year but still have small ceremonies planned. Honeyford Memorial American Legion Post 110 in Catskill hold their ceremony at 11 a.m. May 25 on the courthouse steps on Main Street in Catskill. The American Legion Post 291 in Greenville host a service at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day at the Veterans Park at the corner of Route 81 and Route 32. Coxsackie's American Legion Post 166 has a ceremony planned for 1 p.m. Memorial Day at the World War II monument. In Cairo, American Legion Mohican Post 983 members will lay wreaths at cemeteries at 11 a.m. May 25. “I hope people will take a moment to remember those who served and have passed, because that is what it is all about,” said Hudson American Legion Commander Ed Coons. In The Columbia Paper Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt Murell said in the county’s May 22 virus update press release that Cuomo’s Executive Order limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer individuals for Memorial Day observances is also for religious gatherings following physical distancing and cleaning measures. The Executive Order also says that, “any drive-in or remote religious service may continue in excess of the 10-person limit so long as there is no in-person contact between participants. Vehicle caravans are permitted.” In other local coronavirus news, many of the local cases continue to happen at nursing homes, Of Columbia County's 360 total cases, 37 were at the Pine Haven nursing home in Philmont, and 127 were at The Grand at Barnwell in Valatie. That's 45 percent of the total cases in Columbia County, and both homes would be tops among the county's towns. Kinderhook also has 37 cases, and Hudson has 32. No other town has more than 16. On May 22 Columbia County announced two more COVID-19 cases, and also two more deaths, for 31 total. Greene County announced, on May 22, one more coronavirus case, and more more death, for 18 total.