Waterman Cemetery in Sheldon

Waterman Cemetery in Sutherland sits with just an American flag waving above the community’s veterans memorial on a cool May morning.

REGIONAL—There likely will be no Memorial Day programs for Calumet and Sutherland this year on Monday, May 25.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, none of the usually scheduled activities likely will happen. Instead, people likely will be forced to commemorate the holiday among themselves.

Chuck Kummerfeld, a former commander of American Legion Post 152 of Sutherland, noted the organization is promoting social distancing this year and keeping people safe.

“With social distancing, we can’t do anything,” he said. “It will be a very limited response for Memorial Day because of the pandemic.”

Typical Memorial Day activities include:

  • A program that starts at Liberty Cemetery near Calumet and ends at the Willoway Complex in Sutherland.

  • A second program at Waterman Cemetery in Sutherland.

  • A third program at the R.L. Johannsen Center, the home of American Legion Post 152, in downtown Sutherland.

Sutherland’s American Legion will decide in the months to come what it will do for events later in the year, such as the community’s Labor Day Celebration and the South O’Brien School District’s Veterans Day programs.

American Legion Post 152 also notes its 100th anniversary this year, but no plans have been made as of yet to mark that milestone.

Kummerfeld is no longer the commander of the American Legion in Sutherland, saying the position is designed to be given from one generation to the next.

“It’s a job that is supposed to be passed around,” he said. “I’m just getting burnt out.”