SOUTHERN COLORADO — Memorial Day ceremonies in Southern Colorado are going to look a lot different this year due to COVID-19.
News 5 spoke with local cemeteries and organizations on what to expect.
Those at Pikes Peak National Cemetery shared that instead of a large coordinated event things are going to be very simple and much smaller this year.
Program Specialist Richard Munoz said, "The average day looks like a big event with thousands of cars, thousands of people here."
Munoz paints a good picture of what it was like last year at the cemetery - crowds of people coming together to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Due to COVID-19 "this year is going to be quite different," said Munoz. "It'll be myself. It'll be a couple of the key interment members that will be present...it'll be a recorded message. It will be a playing of "Taps" and then an official placing of the wreath."
The recorded video will be on the Support Committee at Pikes Peak National Cemetery Facebook page.
As far as people visiting the cemetery, Munoz says they're encouraging people to wear masks, come with a group of no more than 10 people, practice social distancing, and to bring their own flags.
He said, "The cemetery will be open. This is a public place. This place belongs to the veterans."
Memorial Day plans are also changing in Pueblo.
Chris Anderson, president of Pueblo Veterans Council, said, "The closer and closer it got to the date we just realized it's not going to happen."
She's talking about the annual service at Veterans' Bridge which will also be recorded and put on Facebook and YouTube by the Pueblo Veterans Council.
Anderson said, "Disappointing...it's going to be a very modified version of it. It's just going to be an invocation. I will be speaking as an introduction."
She's hoping others will be speaking as well.
While COVID-19 may be impacting celebrations this year Munoz said, "We will encourage them to still...come on out and visit their loved ones, spend time with them, remember them, share a story about them, and spend the day doing just that."
Other cemeteries, particularly places like Evergreen which has the Buffalo Soldiers commemoration, are still trying to decide what they're going to do for Memorial Day. We'll keep you updated.
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