NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)- The observance of Memorial Day will look different this year for Americans across the New York area as parades and events have been canceled. But, while the in-person gatherings are not an option this year, several area organizations are offering alternative ways to honor the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
One such location is the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which will be holding their event virtually this year, and museum president Susan Marenoff-Zausner says the reverence will be the same.
“We will be having that National Anthem sung by Tony Award-winning Stephanie Block. She played Cher on Broadway so that will start out a beautiful rendition,” Marenoff-Zausner told CBS2’s Charlie Cooper.
The group’s normally highly anticipated 100-foot flag unfurling will not happen as it requires close contact. Still, Marenoff-Zausner says it’s important to hold events in any way they can in order to say thank you to those service men and women.
“We just don’t want for people to forget this important time period. Really we should be saying thank you every day,” said Marenoff-Zausner.
In College Point, Queens, the Memorial Day Parade, normally a staple gathering of the summer, is being held in a virtual format and a car parade that will allow for social distancing.
“This year we’re going to do it live on Facebook so the community can watch,” said Jennifer Shannon, the chairwoman of the parade committee. “In our program each year, we list all of the fallen soldiers from our community. At each stop this year we’re going to read their names.”
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While it has been difficult for organizers to cancel or change their events from the normal formats, it also hasn’t been easy for parade participants like Lauren Anchor, whose children have been part of the parade every year. Anchor says her children understand why the parade can’t happen and that they’re adjusting to the new normal.
“They’ve become accustom to our new normal and understanding that nothing’s going on these days,” said Anchor. “I know College Point, they’re doing a virtual memorial wreath laying so we’ll tune into that since we can’t join them.”
Despite major changes in plans this year, everyone agrees remembering brave service men and women must still go on.