SAN DIEGO – Typically, Memorial Day consists of local parades and ceremonies honoring the fallen, but COVID is still deterring most in-person events this holiday weekend. Despite the pandemic, family, friends and strangers are still visiting local national cemeteries to pay tribute to those who have fallen.
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, of course, but we still want to bring them flowers to let them know we appreciate them,” said one visitor.
Meanwhile others like Michael and Megan Bollaert visited the cemetery to honor a loved one. They travelled all the way from Washington to pay their respects to Michael’s friend Brian, who he served in the navy with.
They visited to gift 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 an extra special moment since their trip to the cemetery was cancelled last year because of COVID.
Sallay Kim, President and CEO of Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation, said simply coming out to the cemeteries is a great way to honor the fallen men and women who served our country, especially since most local celebrations are cancelled this year due to COVID.
There will still be the annual National Moment of Remembrance to pay tribute to those who have fallen, which means taking a moment of silence at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day wherever you’re at.
“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 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.