PLATTSBURGH — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would allow Memorial Day ceremonies of 10 or less people.

Clinton County Legislature Chairman Mark Henry said that as well as the 10-person cap, the state is requesting that all participants wear masks and maintain social distancing.

"Those who sacrificed so much should be honored,” Henry said.

“Memorial Day is important to many families in our area, and I am hopeful that veterans or other organizations will find an appropriate way to honor those deceased veterans and their families.”

Clinton County Sheriff David Favro echoed Henry, stressing safety while attending any such ceremony.

“Even though it’s permitted, wear the masks and try and keep your distance; not everybody needs to shake hands after,” Favro said. “People need to use some common sense and good judgement.”

Henry added that, ultimately, the decision to conduct the ceremonies within these guidelines is up to local municipalities.


City of Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read announced the state’s decision in his press briefing Tuesday, adding in an email that the city would find acceptable any policies set by the state.

He reiterated that as the weather grows warmer, people should still wear masks and practice social distancing when around anyone from outside of their household.

In the town, Supervisor Michael Cashman said the usual ceremony hosted at the American Legion Post 20 will not take place, but that some legion members will be visiting local cemeteries.

“I’m heartbroken that we won’t be assembling this year, but we’re certainly encouraging people to reflect on the importance of the day,” Cashman said.

And while the social distance required for ceremonies this year will be an adjustment, he hoped it will inspire greater turnouts in the future.

“I hope that when this eases up, that in the future more people come out to these ceremonies,” Cashman said. “There’s always a healthy crowd in the past, but I would hope that more people will look for notices for events like these.”

Email Ben Watson:

Twitter: @BenWatsonPR

Recommended for you