The Brookline Office of Veterans’ Service in response to the unprecedented pandemic crisis will not be conducting a public ceremony as part of our Memorial Day observance. Many of the people who attend our ceremonies are at the most risk from the COVID-19 virus and I do not believe it is wise to risk their health with a public gathering.

Brookline does not forget, in conjunction with VFW Post 864 and American Legion Post 11 we will honor those who have passed with a ceremony not attend by the general public. The Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) will film the ceremony and broadcast it on cable access TV and the Brookline TAB will photograph the event.

Thanks to the men and women of the Department of Public Works and a handful of volunteers, flags have been placed at the graves of our veterans. Additional flags were left at both Walnut Hills and Holyhood cemeteries for loved ones if any veteran graves were missed.

As Director of Veterans’ Services, I know how much the Memorial Day observance means to so many of our families and I am so sorry for not conducting a public ceremony this year. I have worked with two families tragically impacted by the COVID-19 virus and I am not willing to risk the health of the living to honor those who have passed. It is my hope that we all stay safe and healthy and are able to gather next year to honor those that have passed.

William T. McGroarty

Director of Veterans’ Services