By LISA BAUMANN
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The governor has issued a directive that says graveside services at state veterans cemeteries will again be allowed upon request.
Gov. Steve Bullock announced the directive Thursday, broadening the scope of a newer policy that said graveside services would only be granted in special circumstances.
He says when a Montana veteran is laid to rest, their loved ones should be near them throughout the ceremony, including graveside burial.
New shelters and columbariums were built about a year ago at veterans' cemeteries in Helena and Missoula, replacing graveside services.
Montana Veterans Affairs Division administrator Joe Foster said previously replacing graveside services in this manner complied with National Cemetery Administration policy. He said the policy was put in place because of safety and liability concerns.
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