Photos: A post-COVID-19 Memorial Day: Crowds, parties, reconnections but still some caution


After more than 14 months of life torn asunder by the pandemic, the holiday weekend brought no small measure of relief as Californians cautiously resumed doing the things they normally do, starting with barbecues and trips to the beach.

California now logs one of the lowest COVID-19 case rates of any state in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statewide, 1,057 people were hospitalized Monday with confirmed cases, a 23% drop from two weeks ago, according to data compiled by The Times.

Crowds pack the Santa Monica State Beach on Memorial Day as many people are eager to get out as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The ebbing of the coronavirus is due partly to California’s relatively high vaccination rates. Nearly two-thirds of Californians who are eligible to be vaccinated — those who are at least 12 years old — have received at least one dose, according to the CDC.

On June 15, the state expects to fully reopen. People who are fully vaccinated will be able to stop wearing masks in most situations. Capacity restrictions and physical distancing rules will be lifted at almost all businesses.

Members of the Gaviola family visit the grave of their son.

Members of the Gaviola family visit the grave of their 24-year-old son, Pfc. Mikhail John Alvarez, at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Los Angeles on Monday.

(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press )

Will Foley lays a yellow rose on the headstone of the veterans cemetery in L.A.

Will Foley of Brentwood Glen lays a yellow rose on the headstone of a veteran at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood on Memorial Day. Foley, who lives nearby, comes to the cemetery every year to pay his respects and leave flowers on random graves. “It’s nice to see more people here this year,” he said.

(Nick Agro / For The Times)

Alissa Rimmon salutes a grave at the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Alissa Rimmon salutes each grave, voicing the name of the person buried at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Memorial Day in Westwood on Monday.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

A girl reaches for bubbles near the Santa Monica Pier.

A girl reaches for bubbles near the Santa Monica Pier as crowds gather in Santa Monica on Memorial Day more than a year after COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns began.

(David McNew / AFP/Getty Images)

A man flies the flag of Mexico from a bike passing under the Santa Monica Pier.

A man flies the flag of Mexico from a bike passing under the Santa Monica Pier as crowds gather on Memorial Day.

(David McNew / AFP/Getty Images )

A man feeds a pigeon that landed on a boy's head near the Santa Monica Pier.

A man feeds a pigeon that landed on a boy’s head near the Santa Monica Pier on Monday.

(David McNew / AFP/Getty Images)

A bugler plays taps during a Memorial Day Mass.

A bugler plays taps during a special Memorial Day Mass led by Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez to honor members of the military at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Culver City on Monday.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Elisha Soronio, left, and her mother, Mylenne Soronio pray during a Memorial Day Mass.

Elisha Soronio, left, and her mother, Mylenne Soronio pray during a Memorial Day Mass at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Culver City on Monday.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

People view the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Memorial Day in Washington.

People view the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Memorial Day as the sunsets over the National Mall in Washington on Monday.

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

A person kneels at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington on Memorial Day.

A person kneels at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington on Memorial Day.

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

A woman points to a name inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

A woman points to a name inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington on Memorial Day.

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

More visual journalism from the photography staff of the Los Angeles Times





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