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Some Harford County Memorial Day ceremonies are still on as other events canceled because of coronavirus

While communities throughout Harford County have already canceled Fourth of July celebrations, some are still planning to move ahead with Memorial Day ceremonies in the next few weeks, with some modifications.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced last week the lifting of the stay-at-home order in place of a safer-at-home public health advisory, which went into effect Friday evening. The order, however, did not lift the ban on large gatherings.

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“Marylanders should continue practicing physical distancing, continue avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, keep washing their hands often, and frequently sanitize high-touch areas," Hogan, a Republican said.

In Havre de Grace, the plan is to go ahead with the annual Memorial Day services as in years past, with safety and social distancing concerns addressed.

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The service will be held Monday, May 25, starting with a service at Angel Hill Cemetery with First Vice Commander Johnny Boker, from the American Legion Post 47, followed by the main ceremony at 11 a.m. in Tydings Park.

“We may not do the luncheon following the ceremony, but will have more detail closer to day of," said Jason Robertson, Second Vice Commander of American Legion, Post 47. Robertson is also a member of the Havre de Grace City Council.

“We will coordinate with the City of Havre de Grace to endure the safety of the participants, with proper distances. We also encourage the use of face masks by participants," he said.

In Bel Air, the annual large scale Memorial Day service held in Shamrock Park has been canceled. The cancellation came from the Town of Bel Air, which owns the park, due to the governor’s executive order prohibiting groups larger than 10 people assemble.

That event is annually coordinated and held by Harford County American Legion Post 39.

Post Commander Matt Winner noted it was the town that canceled the event, which takes place near the flag pole at the bandstand in Shamrock Park, next to the police station and town hall.

“Obviously we can’t do gatherings of more than 10, we can’t have the ceremonial wreath laying and those wreaths come in from all the different departments; the disabled veterans, the Marine corps, Legion Post 39, the auxiliary corp, Post 55,” he said. "Those are all the ceremonial wreaths that we place.”

Winner says there is a plan to stream a small event on Facebook.

“The only event that we are gonna do is, we’re planning to do a live stream on Facebook and do a color guard placement of the wreaths at the flag pole at our post,” Winner said. “We’re trying not to announce it because we don’t want to have a gathering. But at the same time, we’re not dropping it, we want to have that ceremony."

In Aberdeen, Bernard L. Tobin Post 128 commander David Heredia, Jr., said he was waiting to hear back from Aberdeen city government, before making a decision, but in the meantime the plan to was move forward with a small ceremony.

Aberdeen Memorial Day ceremonies are annually held at Veterans Memorial Park.

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