COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ahead of Memorial Day, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing, which is charged with ensuring the proper maintenance and operation of cemeteries, is issuing a reminder that social distancing guidelines remain in effect at Ohio cemeteries.

“Each year, many Ohioans visit the state’s cemeteries over the three-day weekend to pay their respects to fallen servicemen and women,” said Anne Petit, Superintendent of the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing. “Given the impact of COVID-19, we encourage Ohioans to contact the cemetery ahead of their visit to understand the social distancing requirements at the memorial park. The guidelines ensure that visitors can safely honor military personnel who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

The Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory issued by the Director of the Ohio Department of Health does not change the mass gathering restrictions, which remain at a 10-person limit and require that people stay at least six feet apart from one another. Actual funeral services remain exempt from the size of gathering restriction. Small group activities, such as placing a wreath or flag at a single grave site is encouraged for groups of 10 or fewer people who maintain a safe distance.

For those unable to pay their respects at a cemetery, here are a few ways to honor our nation’s fallen service members this Memorial Day:

  • Participate in a “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday
  • Fly the American flag (and Ohio burgee and/or the flag of a branch of the military)
  • Create patriotic-themed crafts to decorate your home or an American themed dessert.
  • Listen to stories from active military members and veterans here.
  • Explore the website of Ohio’s very own National Veterans Memorial and Museum

When you visit a cemetery, remember there are laws and guidelines in place for the maintenance and operation of cemeteries. If those guidelines are not being met, Ohioans should bring it to the attention of the cemetery’s management. If the issue cannot be resolved with cemetery management, file a complaint with the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission (OCDRC) online or by emailing WebReal@com.state.oh.us.