Memorial Day to be observed in a ‘different way’

May 21, 2020 by

Published May 22, 2020

MELROSE — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Melrose will not be able to have its traditional Memorial Day parade and ceremonies this year. However, our veterans will still be remembered in other ways.

“The Memorial Day parade and observances are a beautiful annual tradition that bring together veterans and others in recognition of those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Mayor Paul Brodeur. “This year, we will honor them in a different way, through individual actions and quiet moments.”

“Although we cannot gather together to honor those we have lost, we want you to know they are not forgotten,” said Veterans Service Officer Karen Burke. “We will be doing many things to remember.”

Mayor Brodeur, VSO Burke, and the Veterans Services Advisory Board invite all residents to decorate their doors and yards in red, white, and blue and to send photos of their loved ones who have passed away to Sue Caffey at scaffey@cityofmelrose.org the photos will be assembled into a slide show to be shown either this Memorial Day or in future years. Also, please feel free to post your pictures on Facebook with the hashtag #MelroseMemorialDay.

On Saturday, May 23, Burke and the VSAB members will decorate the veterans’ graves in Wyoming Cemetery. “Unfortunately, we cannot open this up as a public event,” Burke said, “but rest assured we will place flags at all of our veteran graves as we have in years past.”

“One of the parts of our grave decorating that we will greatly miss this year is our retiring of the flag ceremony,” Burke added. “We do this yearly with our Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. We are going to postpone this event until it is safe to gather together and have a ceremony with our scouts. For now, please hold onto your flags if you are able. If you are not able, please contact the Veterans Services office at 781-979-4186 so we can arrange a drop-off or pickup of the flag you would like retired.”

“On May 24 we will make our way from Memorial Hall to the Knoll as we have in years past,” Burke said. “We will be laying wreaths at the Memorials along the way in honor of those we have lost.” A video of the ceremonies will be available on Sunday afternoon on the MMTV YouTube page, youtube.com/user/MelroseMATV.

Memorial Hall will be lit with gold lights on Sunday evening, in honor of gold star families. “We are doing this as a symbolic gesture of unity and recognition for our fallen service members and their loved ones in conjunction with communities across the state,” said Burke.

In addition, on May 24 and 25, MMTV will broadcast videos of past Memorial Day observances.

“Finally, we ask you to leave your porch light on this Memorial Day,” said Burke. “Leave a light on for those who never came home, our loved ones we still wait for.”

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