Honoring our nation’s fallen will be a lot different this year thanks to the coronavirus.
Many Memorial Day parades and public events have been shuttered altogether or replaced with virtual ceremonies in order to comply with social distancing. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has prohibited public events, including burial ceremonies on the day.
But while the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we observe the holiday, it’s not canceling people’s sense of patriotism.
Diane Nealon, who lives in Boston and helps organize the city’s flag garden, found a way to adapt to this year’s changes, making a unique flag tribute in her front yard and calling others to follow her lead.
However, many are calling on the VA to reconsider the ban so that people can continue to honor the fallen safely, including Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
“We tried everything that we could to get the VA in Washington to change their view on this,” Bellone said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are hosting New York City’s first-ever “Virtual Fleet Week” via social media.
The online event includes video and aerial tours of Navy and Coast Guard ships, live performances, and even Q&A sessions with members of the nation’s sea services.
The Intrepid Museum is also presenting its annual Memorial Day commemoration online in a virtual ceremony with a traditional wreath-laying.