FORT LEAVENWORTH (KCTV) -- During Memorial Day weekend, many people visit the grave sites of loved ones who’ve fallen serving in the U.S. military.
However, due to the pandemic, some people trying to pay their respects to those buried in Fort Leavenworth won’t be able to do that.
On Friday, KCTV5’s Greg Payne spoke with a woman who was denied access to the military post.
Usually, people can drive up to the gates at Fort Leavenworth and showcase their IDs to gain access, but that’s changed due to the virus.
Barbara Johnson is from Raytown and made the trip to Fort Leavenworth to pay her respects to her parents, who are both buried at the post’s cemetery.
“We came today so that we wouldn’t come on Memorial Day when it was busy,” she explained.
Johnson’s father served in WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam.
“What we put on his tombstone was, ‘A man of integrity,’” she said.
Unfortunately, Johnson won’t get a chance to see that tombstone today and most likely won’t on Memorial Day either. That’s because the post has decided to stop visitor access because of the pandemic.
“We really sympathize with those good folks because we want to give them access,” said Jeffrey Wingo with Fort Leavenworth Public Affairs. “We really do. As soon as this pandemic is over, we will be able to open the gates again and allow the visitors to come onto the post.”
As for Johnson, who believes the post should’ve done better with notifying people of the change, she said she’ll make a positive out of the situation.
“In Kansas City, there is a Vietnam Memorial and I think I will take some of these flowers there,” she said.
Officials said that, at this time, the only people allowed on the post will be those with a military ID. That includes: retired service members, all Department of Defense ID cardholders and their guests, and gold star families.