(NMTV NEWS) – Memorial Day ceremonies have a different look to them this year, if they are being held at all. Many are cancelled, others are slimmed down get-togethers since large gatherings are still not allowed. But organizers hope people will still remember the sacrifices made, even though the observances are not the same.
“It’s not about the crowds, it’s about the fallen,” said Tim Engstrom, the Director of Communications for the Minnesota American Legion. “It’s kind of ironic at a time when we all have a little bit of less freedom than we are used to, we are honoring the people who gave us our freedom, who fought for our country,” he added.
“It’s one of the few events that we can do that doesn’t include a large group,” says Scoutmaster Brian Peterson. “We have a lot of scouts who are very volunteer driven and do like to give back to the community and they do enjoy coming out to events like this today and to help out when they can.”
But many other traditions may not be repeated this year or are being carried out with fewer people.
“Many of the Memorial Day observances will not be having crowds, but they will be having observances, taps are played, they pray and read the names of the fallen,” said Tim Engstrom. “That’s at the cemeteries where they have access. Many cemeteries have said we’re just not going to have anything.”
Engstrom hopes next year’s Memorial Day will be more patriotic than ever. But he says there’s also a good reason to remember 2020.
“I’m hoping in the long term 2020 is a good lesson that makes us cherish everyday things even more, cherish our holidays even more.”
Engstrom hopes people will still take time to remember a veteran.
“We would like them to light a candle,” he says. Keep a candle in your window and light it for the veterans, for the veterans who fought for this country on this holiday.”