The National Cemetery Administration is suspending military funeral honors – whether by military personnel or volunteer organizations – at its 142 national cemeteries.
The move comes as a precaution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The NCA said the suspension will last until further notice.
Cemeteries will remain open and continue to provide interments for veterans and eligible individuals, according to the NCA. Immediate family members – limited to 10 people – will be able to witness the interment from a safe distance.
The precautions are “a matter of public health and safety,” the NCA said in a March 20 Facebook post announcing the changes.
[RELATED: MOAA's Guide to Military Burials]
The NCA is asking families who wish to postpone a scheduled interment to contact the national cemetery where the interment is scheduled as soon as possible. Those who choose to continue with the interment can work with the NCA to schedule a committal or memorial services at a later date.
The National Cemetery Scheduling Office in St. Louis will continue to provide scheduling services for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. To schedule a burial, call (800) 535-1117, option 1.
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) closed to the public as of March 13. Funerals will continue, per the ANC website, and family members can visit during restricted hours after obtaining a family pass. Family members can call (877) 907-8585 for more information about visitation, ceremonies, or scheduling.
Status updates will be posted on ANC’s Facebook page.