Letter: Despite COVID-19, Memorial Day must be observed

Memorial Day Parade.jpg
This familiar Detroit Lakes Memorial Day tradition will not be happening this year, due to concerns regarding the potential for spreading the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. There will also be no program at the Pavilion; instead, there will be a short program and flag raising ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. (Tribune file photo)

While our nation and community faces the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still can take time to honor the men and women who served in our armed forces and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. This year many of the events associated with Memorial Day are going to be canceled, including our local parade.

This parade has been part of our history since 1915. Starting at the courthouse it attracted hundreds who marched to Oak Grove Cemetery to witness the dedication of the GAR monument that graces the entrance today. Over Memorial Day, this will be the site of numerous American flags that can be seen from the safety of your car or by maintaining social distancing.

There will also be a program at the Veterans Memorial Park. It will feature flag ceremonies and a 21-gun salute, together with words from the VFW chaplain and a few dignitaries.

For those who cannot attend you can still honor those who served. Please fly your American flag on Memorial Day and the weekend. Proudly display your red, white and blue to show your appreciation!

Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs will hold a virtual Memorial Day in place of live events at the three State Veterans Cemeteries.


The important thing is that we honor those who gave us our freedom. Despite COVID-19, Memorial Day must remain a day of reflection and remembrance of those who died while serving in the U.S. military and their families. It is essential to remember and renew the legacy of Memorial Day, as we face the challenge of this pandemic and dedicate ourselves to the values and principles for which those heroes died.

Pam Mortenson

Detroit Lakes Women's Relief Corps

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