Virtual Memorial Day ceremony Monday

May 21, 2020 by

Published May 20, 2020

By DAN TOMASELLO

LYNNFIELD — The town’s annual Memorial Day celebration on Monday will be different than previous years due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Veterans’ Services Officer Bruce Siegel said during a May 14 press conference that this year’s Memorial Day ceremony will be virtual.

“While the pandemic is starting to show signs of improvement, it’s still risky,” said Siegel. “I thought our customary celebration would be out of the question because we can’t march in the parade, we can’t assemble on the Common and we can’t have a cookout while still practicing social distancing. But that doesn’t mean we are not going to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation to keep us free. It’s our obligation to recognize and honor those who never came home.”

Siegel is developing a program for the virtual ceremony. He said the ceremony will be posted on the town’s website, town of Lynnfield Vimeo page and on social media.

“I encourage all residents to log on at their convenience,” said Siegel.

Siegel, DPW employee Brett Potter and veterans Jason Kimball and Tom Bogart placed American flags on veterans’ gravestones at Forest Hill cemetery. Potter also planted American flags at the Old Burying Ground and West Burying Ground cemeteries, and the Knights of Columbus placed the flags at Willow Cemetery.

The veterans’ services officer encouraged residents to “decorate their front doors in a patriotic theme to honor our fallen heroes.”

Selectman Dick Dalton said he looks forward to the annual Memorial Day ceremony each year as the town, state and country pauses to “remember those who have given their lives in defense of this nation.”

Dalton said the annual Field of Flags display in Boston is incredibly inspiring when it’s on display for Memorial Day Weekend each year. While that event is not taking place this year due to the pandemic, Dalton said it inspired him to purchase 390 flags that will be placed on the Town Common. He said the flags will represent the 39,000 Massachusetts veterans who have given their lives in defense of this country.

The flags will be on display this weekend, and Dalton said the DPW will be lighting the flags up at night. He also said Rotary Club member Bob Priestley will be projecting a virtual waving American flag on the side of the Meeting House at night.

“It will be a display of patriotism and will pay respect to those who have given their lives,” said Dalton.

Dalton also said the Fire Department’s large American flag will also be on display on a ladder truck on Memorial Day.

“It will remind residents about the importance of the day,” said Dalton.

Dalton also paid tribute to World War II veteran Earl Richard, who passed away from the COVID-19 virus in late March. Richard served as the grand marshal in last year’s Memorial Day Parade.

“After the event, people kept going up to him and shaking his hand,” said Dalton. “People were really honored to meet him. He was so happy. It was a great memory. We will certainly miss Earl this year.”

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