ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. ( -- The purpose of Memorial Day weekend is to remember America's heroes who were lost in service to their country.

But the COVID-19 pandemic is changing how we show respect.

Friday, visitors spread out in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery to honor fallen military members.

Nearly 100 veterans have died in the last two weeks, and those wanting to celebrate their lives find a new procedure at the veteran's final resting place.

Families in funeral cars must wait as cemetery employees wipe down caskets, chairs, and other equipment.

Cemetery employees are only burying veterans.

Veterans get their flag, but no honor guard, rifle salute, or “Taps.”

"Any family who requests it, we will allow them to witness the burial at the gravesite, but we are limiting that to 10 or less," said Artis Parker, overseer of the cemetery. “We understand during these difficult times, families really want to come together because this is that last opportunity to say goodbye."

The cemetery's executive director said while no date is yet known they are prepared to resume full military honor ceremonies at the grave sites when regulations allow crowds to gather again.

For those veterans buried between March 23 and that date, they will make sure they receive the full honors they could not have when they were laid to rest.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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