Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom were honored in a unique way on this Memorial Day.
San Diego’s four iconic ceremonies were held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. The four-part ceremony started at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at 9 a.m. Monday, followed by ceremonies held every 15 minutes, first at the Mount Soledad Memorial, then the Miramar National Cemetery, then USS Midway.
Oded Ganeden came to the Midway with his two-year-old son to see the celebratIons.
“We decided to stop and see the celebrations of Memorial Day by the shore, but it’s very empty here," he said.
When told they were all being live-streamed, he said, "That’s a great idea. I think that’s just what we can do right now through this situation. It’s unfortunate, but again it’s the most we can do.”
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit was one of the few onboard the Midway, invited to be a speaker representing those on the front lines who have been fighting the invisible enemy, COVID-19.
He thanked grocery store workers, delivery workers, utility workers and health care providers, among other front line workers.
“I can tell you law enforcement will always hold a special place in our hearts for doctors and nurses," he said.
Veteran Navy nurse Jill Kendro usually goes to the Mount Soledad Memorial on Memorial Day. This time, she was able to watch all four ceremonies from home.
"Nothing beats being at the service live getting to see all the veterans there, who lost their friends and family," she said. “That vibe, that feeling both of grief and pride can’t be replicated.”
She added, however, that not everyone can get to live events, so the live-stream made it possible for more people to honor the fallen.
“We always try to pause in silence and it’s almost kind of more of a serious tone of that too, to sit and really take in what this day is all about.”