Oceanside CA— Due to COVID-19, thousands of community members cannot gather for the customary Memorial Day ceremonies that remember and honor our nation’s heroes who died while serving their country. This year, Dignity locations have redesigned their festivities to keep the stay-at-home order and social distancing a priority.
“Despite the circumstances, it’s important that we still honor and remember our military heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Bob Dowson, Vice President and Managing Director for Dignity Memorial in Orange and San Diego Counties.
“During this time, we cannot gather, but we will continue this tradition by providing the community an opportunity to participate safely onsite or virtually.”
Two local Dignity Memorial parks have created patriotic new plans to offer community members either an individualized on-site option, or at-home variations:
El Camino Memorial Park and Mortuary – Sorrento Valley staff have pre-recorded a small group of Boy Scouts raising the flag to half-mast before placing flags on veterans’ graves. A retired chaplain also offers a brief Memorial Day message to be posted on their Facebook page for those sheltering in place to watch online. Staff members have volunteered to place individual flags on each veteran’s grave. Those with friends and family buried at the park are welcome to visit and decorate graves as well.
Eternal Hills Memorial Park staff members will set out flags on the Circle of Honor, Court of Honor, Folded Flags Military area and public servant lawns the week of May 18. A pre-recorded service will be posted to their Facebook page that includes a flag display, a bagpiper performance and a flag-raising service presented by five local Boy Scouts (One for each military branch.) The service also includes tolling the bell followed by taps. The park will be open Memorial Day for families to visit their loved ones’ graves.