In-person Memorial Day services prevail amid COVID-19

Published: May. 25, 2020 at 4:52 PM CDT
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While many families and veterans honored their loved ones virtually for the first time this Memorial Day, many still got together at local cemeteries and paid tribute to those who served.

“It’s their selflessness, their courage, their bravery and sacrifice that makes this nation worth living in,” Russ Stabler said.

“I’ve lost people in combat, I’ve lost people after combat. I’ve known a lot of people over the years, various war veterans who are no longer with us. So, I think about them,” Jason Hicks, Commander of the Patriotic Bodies said.

While the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted many of the events we attend, Hicks says this year’s crowd at Sunset Memorial Cemetery is about the same as a normal year.

“The social distancing with these hasn’t really been an issue because people naturally spread out and go to the grave of their loved one,” Hicks said.

He says while it was important to put these services on for those who’ve given their lives to our nation, it was difficult to plan for the unexpected.

“If it were to rain or something, we would normally move to the Civic Center, but that wasn’t an option this year because of the social distancing requirement. So, luckily the weather held out and it was a really nice day for it,” Hicks said.

Many told Valley News Live it was important for them to come out this morning to honor their loved ones, friends and those they served with, and say it’s disappointing others didn’t get to have the same experience.

“Heck, I just talked to a guy who was a hundred years old. He thinks it will be his last one and he made a point to come out and have an outdoor ceremony because he told me straight up he didn’t want to watch it on TV,” Hicks said.

“We owe them a debt that can never be repaid,” Stabler said.

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