Sunset Memorial cancels annual patriotic ceremony due to COVID-19


DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Sunset Memorial Park Funeral Home usually find themselves gearing up for an event that brings together hundreds and even thousands of Wiregrass citizens — The Wiregrass Memorial Day Ceremony.

However, the special tradition is different this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

“We are offering flags to citizens of the Wiregrass and this area. It will be a drive-by setting here at the funeral home for those to come pick up flags to take not only to our cemetery but if they are at a church cemetery be able to take those flags to their loved ones a fallen hero,” said Andrew Byrd, a funeral director at Sunset Memorial Park Funeral Home.

For those who have loved ones buried at Sunset, you will have the opportunity to get out of your car and place the flag on their grave. The cemetery will also have smaller flags placed on other veterans’ grave to show love and appreciation.

Owner Robert Byrd says he’s glad they an offer a small token of love and appreciation during the difficult time, but canceling the ceremony has been tough to cope with.

“I’m very disappointed because the memorial for Sunset and the community has been huge. Attendance is usually between 800 and 1200 people a year and I just hate to not put it on because its such a large part of the area,” Owner Robert Byrd said.

The flag pickup will take place from 10 a.m to noon May 25.

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