(MANHATTAN, KS – May 21, 2020) This year’s Memorial Day celebration at Sunrise and Sunset Cemeteries in Manhattan will look a little different. Both cemeteries are open and no appointments are necessary to visit grave sites, but the American Legion will not be conducting their typical Memorial Day ceremony out of consideration for public health and safety.
“Keeping everyone safe is our goal,” said Kirk Meyer, First Vice Commander of American Legion Post 17. Instead, the American Legion will hold a modified service Monday, May 25 starting at 9:00 a.m. at Sunset Cemetery. The ceremony will last for 15-20 minutes and will include prayer, a volley, and the traditional playing of “Taps.”The modified ceremony could be canceled due to inclement weather and will not be held in the rain.
Anyone who plans to attend the Memorial Day service or visit grave sites should maintain social distancing and wear masks or other protective gear as they feel is appropriate. Please do not park on grave sites. Parking is available on the sides of the road and visitors are reminded not to block traffic. The speed limit in the cemetery is 15 mph.
Cemetery Sexton Mike Mohler has been working with his crew to prepare the grounds at both Sunrise and Sunset Cemeteries for the holiday. By this time of year, the City typically has an eight-person team to maintain the more than 120 acres of land. With a hiring freeze in place for City of Manhattan staff, the work force has been limited to full-time staff only, with no seasonal help. “We’re working hard to make sure the grounds are well-maintained and everything looks beautiful,” said Mohler.
People can locate graves using the online map tool at https://www.mhkprd.com/gravesite. Anyone who has questions or would like help locating a specific grave site, should make an appointment with Mike Mohler by calling (785) 587-2780 during regular business hours.
Sunset Cemetery is located at 2000 Leavenworth Street and is the oldest cemetery in Manhattan. Sunrise Cemetery is located at 2901 Stagg Hill Road. More information about City of Manhattan cemeteries is available at https://www.mhkprd.com/213/Cemeteries.
By VIvienne Uccello, Public Information Officer
City of Manhattan