Funeral homes work to help give vets proper honors as national cemeteries still don't allow funerals

Posted at 4:54 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-25 21:34:37-04

DENVER — Memorial Day weighs heavily on families who have postponed funeral plans because of rules related to COVID-19 at national cemeteries. However, some funeral homes are working with families to honor veterans amid the restrictions.

Anne Ramirez and her family were making their first trip to see her parents' final resting place in Fort Logan on Memorial Day. But due to COVID-19, no ceremony could be done.

"My dad passed away. He had kidney cancer. He passed away March 5, and my mom suddenly passed away on April 14," said Ramirez.

Korean War vet Norman Harpole and his wife of 65 years, Vivian Harpole, were quietly interred at Fort Logan National Cemetery on Saturday.

"The mortuary made plans to have them here by Saturday so we could have our first Memorial Day here with them," said Ramirez.

All Veterans Funeral and Cremations exclusively handles veterans and their families and helped Ramirez get her parents to Fort Logan.

"We've just been here to help people, but it's changed," said Alistair Kamm, location leader at All Veterans Funeral & Cremation.

"We have a stack of paperwork that we're ready for families, so who won services later on but can't have them right now," said Tommie Kamm, with All Veterans Funeral & Cremation.

They're trying to do more to help, including more of what they call their retire a flag program.

"We place a flag over them before cremation, and we cut out five individual stars and give those to the family," said Alistair Kamm. "It's just our way of kind of be able to honor veterans during this time that they don't necessarily get the honors that they deserve and should have."

"It brings some peace just knowing where they're at," said Ramirez.

It's a small yet meaningful way for the Ramirez family to have a little more peace in a difficult time.

"I'm glad they were able to make that work for us so we could see them today," said Ramirez.

Ramirez said she'll hold a small ceremony for her parents when they can. There is no time set to when services will return to national cemeteries.