Monday, May 25, is Memorial Day.
This one will be different than any other.
There will few observances this year, including none in Galion which annually hosts a parade and program at Fairview Cemetery, and none in Mansfield, which traditionally has a parade and programs.
Most communities around here — and across the country — are foregoing parades and speeches due to the COVID-19 pandemic and various stay-at-home orders.
While this probably is the prudent course given the state of affairs in America, it is unfortunate.
Memorial Day, previously, but now seldom, called Decoration Day, is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Many people will still visit cemeteries and memorials on this weekend to remember those who gave their lives in military service. People will still place American flags on graves from here to Washington, D.C. and in thousands of cities and villages.
But there won’t be as many flags.
And this year will not be like other years.
The pandemic wiped that out.
There will be no large gatherings at Fairview Cemetery or breakfast at American Legion or AmVets posts.
There will be no vehicles decked out in red, white and blue.
But the deadly virus that stopped business and commerce for more than two months and sent children home from schools can’t wipe out the meaning of this holiday.
In fact, this year more than ever — as we debate freedoms and rights — we must observe Memorial Day.
We can do so quietly at home or by visiting a local cemetery while observing state and national “social distancing” mandates.
We can say a prayer for those loved ones or neighbors lost fighting for those freedoms. We can reflect on how fortunate we are in this country despite the present challenges of job losses and deaths.
The coronavirus may have stopped the large gatherings and the 21-gun salutes.
It has not and will not stop our spirit.
And it has not and will not erase the memory of those who sacrificed for us.
All Gave Some, Some Gave All.
Lest We Forget.