Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many traditional Memorial Day ceremonies and events are being streamed online this year.
“Memorial Day is a time we normally gather at the memorials to lay a wreath in honor of the fallen, remember their heroic deeds, and draw inspiration from their sacrifice,” Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks said in a press release. “While we may not be able to gather together in the manner in which we are accustomed, we will still ensure those who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of our country are appropriately honored and remembered on Memorial Day.”
Here is how to watch some of this year's Memorial Day ceremonies online, with all times Eastern:
National Memorial Day Concert: On Sunday night, Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise co-hosted this year's National Memorial Day Concert featuring a special message from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley and an appearance by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.). The event included performances by The National Symphony Orchestra, The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, The U.S Army Herald Trumpets, and others. Also participating were gospel legend CeCe Winans and Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara, among others. PBS aired the National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday 8 p.m. with an accompanying livestream, and you can watch the event on demand on their Facebook page.
Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying Ceremony: Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper will host a wreath ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 25, at 9 a.m. to honor the men and women in uniform who have died while serving their country. President Donald Trump, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley, and other government officials are expected to make appearances. This year's wreath laying ceremony can be viewed virtually on the U.S. Department of Defense website. Arlington National Cemetery remains open only to family pass holders with both a face covering and a valid family pass during the Memorial Day weekend.
United States Navy Memorial: The United States Navy Memorial will hold a virtual wreath laying ceremony to honor the nation's Sea Service members on Monday, May 25, at 1 p.m. Speakers include the United States Navy President & CEO, Rear Admiral Frank Thorp IV, USN (Ret.) and Rear Admiral Carl A. Lahti, among others. The event can be viewed on the U.S Navy Memorial Facebook page.
Friends of the National World War II Memorial: The Friends of the National World War II Memorial will release a prerecorded video of their virtual Memorial Day observance on Monday, May 25, at 9 a.m. World War II orphan Roberta Nolan is expected to give remarks, along with a musical performance by Operation Song. Later, at 9:30 a.m., Friends and the National Park Service will livestream a private wreath-laying ceremony at the National World War II Memorial. Both events can be viewed on their Facebook page.
Parade of Heroes: HISTORY, the Wounded Warrior Project, The Greatest Generations Foundation, Heroes of the Second World War, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., and Combined Arms have partnered with Ancestry to host a virtual “Parade of Heroes” on Monday, May 25, at 11 a.m. on the Ancestry Facebook page. Emmy Award-winner Kathie Lee Gifford will host the 45-minute live production. Performers include Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Tori Kelly, among others.
The National WWI Museum and Memorial: While the National WWI Museum will be closed, three ceremonies will be streamed on their website. At 10 a.m. they will hold a Memorial Day ceremony featuring remarks from dignitaries including Missouri U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, and others. At noon they will hold a Memorial Day Bell Tolling Ceremony, followed by a Walk Of Honor Dedication Ceremony at 2 p.m. The grounds of the Museum and Memorial remain open to the public and feature a display of U.S. flags in recognition of veteran suicide.
Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial: The Korean War Veterans Memorial ceremony will be posted at 10 a.m. on the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation Facebook page and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be posted at 1 p.m. on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Facebook page. The ceremonies will include user-submitted videos, special tributes, and speeches.
National Park Service: Hosted by Vicksburg National Military Park and 24 national parks, the National Park Service will host a virtual commemoration on Monday, May 25, at 8 a.m. on the Vicksburg National Military Park Facebook Page. The ceremony will feature newly naturalized American citizens discussing their love for the United States, as well as a recital of the Gettysburg Address and more.
For in-person participation, all outdoor memorials on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., including the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and World War II Memorial, are accessible, though with limited access and parking, according to the National Park Service.
The National Park Service is implementing one-way traffic patterns at the memorials in Washington, D.C., to prevent the spread of the virus. The National Park service states that all memorials are subject to temporary closure if crowds grow too large to effectively distance themselves. They encourage visitors to visit to research current park conditions in advance on go.nps.gov/MallClosures.
What to know about the coronavirus:
- How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
- What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
- Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
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