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Our State Makes It Easier To Visit The Beach Than Somberly Celebrate The Holiday

There is an incredible incongruity between Gov Andrew Cuomo’s recent decisions regarding New York State beaches and Memorial Day gatherings.

On beaches, the governor has said state beaches can open Friday at 50% capacity with no concessions open. Memorial Day gatherings, meanwhile, are limited to 10 people. That means a gathering with a firing squad, bugler and speaker can accommodate roughly one member of the general public.

Does that make any sense?

There may be a public health reason not to have Memorial Day parades. Is there any reason cemetery services couldn’t be held outdoors with social distancing and masks? Can the governor in good conscience say beaches or Big box stores can be open, but a somber ceremony for soldiers who died defending, in part, the right to peaceably assemble is limited to 10 people in a blanket policy? Would a police agency actually charge people, particularly veterans, with a crime if they assemble peaceably in Lakeview Cemetery, observe social distancing and wear their masks?

When the governor wonders why some people are upset with his constant rule making and declarations, look no further than the difference between his handling of beaches and Memorial Day services. Our state is making it easier to hang out at the beach than to somberly celebrate the reason for the holiday.

How sad a statement of our state’s priorities.

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