Memorial Day was different this year.
The coronavirus has managed to change much of our daily lives. The typical way in which the VA celebrates Memorial Day 2020 was changed to protect veterans, staff and others.
No public event was held in adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, said Mike Kiefer, director of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System.
“However, I didn’t want to let this day go by without acknowledging its importance,” Kiefer said in a virtual speech on the Central Texas VA’s Facebook page.
Wreaths and flowers were placed at the VA memorial walls in Temple and Waco on Monday in between rain showers.
Kiefer said he wanted to acknowledge the day’s importance and honor those whose names are etched on those walls, in national, state and private cemeteries, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country in the pursuit of freedom around the world.
Every minute, of every day, Americans enjoy the blessings of a free nation, he said. Blessings protected by the selfless service of men and women in uniform standing watch over their nation ready to defend and protect us from evil at a moment’s notice.
The Memorial Day National Moment of Remembrance was legislated by Congress and proclaimed by the president to invite fellow Americans to unite and express gratitude for those who have given their lives in service to the nation. Americans everywhere were asked to pause at 3 p.m. on Monday wherever they were.
To all veterans we serve and to active duty service members around the world, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System appreciates your service, Kiefer said.