SAN DIEGO — Memorial Day normally consists of local parades and ceremonies honoring the fallen but COVID-19 is still deterring most in-person events this holiday weekend.
Family, friends and strangers are still visiting local national cemeteries to pay tribute to men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. An abundance of flowers, flags, and families are filling up the Miramar National Cemetery this Memorial Day weekend.
“We don’t have any family here but we still want to bring them flowers to let them know we appreciate them,” one visitor said.
Michael and Megan Bollaert visited the cemetery to honor a loved one. They travelled from Washington to pay their respects to Michael’s friend Brian, who he served with in the U.S. Navy. They brought a special painted stone in his honor.
“It was a depiction about everything he loved about being in the navy and his life,” Michael Bollaert said.
The couple’s visit was a special moment since their trip to the cemetery was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sallay Kim, president and CEO of Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation, said simply coming out to the cemeteries is a great way to honor fallen men and women who served our country, especially since most local celebrations are cancelled this year because of COVID-19.
There will still be the annual National Moment of Remembrance to pay tribute to the fallen, which includes a moment of silence at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day wherever you are.
“It’s absolutely a good way to honor the sacrifices of our fallen,” Kim said.
The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation and Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery have also posted virtual events to make sure sacrifices are not forgotten.
“We’ve all seen that Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the summer and we don’t want to take that away from everyone, but what we do want to say is just take that moment to remember the sacrifices of the men and women of this nation that lost their lives in service to our country,” Kim said.