A virtual ceremony was held Monday to remember the brave who sacrificed their lives to fight for our country as the novel coronavirus pandemic prevented public gatherings to honor veterans and service members.
This year's Memorial Day was unusual compared to previous ones due to the pandemic, but nevertheless, the sentiment was still the same.
The public had the opportunity to pay tribute to service members and veterans virtually with a livestream by the USS Midway Museum.
The USS Midway Museum, Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, and Fort Rosecrans and Miramar National Cemeteries held a joint service online on Monday, in which traditional services were practiced. Speakers included local civic and military officials, as well as state and national leaders in video messages.
“We are so proud of our military men and women in San Diego,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said during the event. “It’s the largest footprint of the United States military, the country, it’s part of who we are. It’s the fabric of our city.”
A handful of people lingered outside Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial to pay their respects.
“They paid the ultimate sacrifice and that’s something you can never repay back," said Jose Escarsega, a United States Marine Corps veteran.
Loren Frank, who lives near the site, said the remembrance reminded him of medical professionals who are on the frontlines in the battle against the COVID-19 battle.
“It kind of reminds us of today’s heroes," Frank told NBC 7. "They’re people who run towards danger and people that risk their lives, just like our medical personnel are doing now.”
The ceremony also featured bagpipe and bugler performances, a wreath-laying ceremony at the USS Midway Museum and a missing-man flyby by the San Diego Salute Formation Team.
Each location held a 15-minute ceremony in sequence from 9 to 10 a.m. on the USS Midway Museum’s website, where the virtual ceremony can be viewed by anyone who may have missed the live event.
The show flowed from Ft. Rosencrans to Mt. Soledad, then to Miramar and to the USS Midway Museum. Finally, it returned to Miramar for the bugler performance and flyby.
“On a Memorial Day, unlike any our country has experienced before, we hope that all who view this program will be inspired to take a moment to remember and pay their respects to our veterans and active duty military, and to their families who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Carlos Inot, president and CEO of the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation.