Funerals with full military honors on hold at Georgia National Cemetery due to COVID-19

Funerals with full military honors have been put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, the veterans are still being buried, but the ceremony will have to wait.

"The family is allowed to come and witness the interment, from a safe distance, we'll let families of 10 or fewer view that," said Georgia National Cemetery Director James Mitchum.

Families will have the opportunity for a more traditional Military burial once restrictions ease.

In the meantime, there's a website with the Roll of Honor, that's updated every day with the names of veterans who have died. It's not the same, but it is a way to pay tribute to those who have served.

The pandemic has also forced the Georgia National Cemetery to cancel the traditional Memorial Day flag ceremony for the first time.

"It was a very tough decision, we had to keep everybody's health and welfare in mind, the public, the staff," said Mitchum.

"I understand but it was very disappointing to not have the flag ceremony," said Jeannie Edward's who was visiting her dad's grave Friday afternoon.

Edwards says she always visits the cemetery Memorial Day weekend. She loves to see the flags marking all 21,000 headstones, hear the speakers, and see the flyover.

This year she brought her owns flags for her dad, Buddy Howard, who served in the Navy.

"I brought flags for my dad and the veterans that surround him so at least they would be honored today," said Edwards.

Families are still welcome and encouraged to visit the cemetery this weekend. They can bring their own flags and flowers if they wish.  Everyone should make sure to follow social distancing guidelines.