PUEBLO — Usually around this time of year, several veterans organizations take time to hold ceremonies and place flags on the graves of our fallen heroes. That tradition will look a lot different this year, under the threat of COVID-19.
"For us, Memorial Day is everyday," said Salvadore Torres, a Marine Corps combat veteran. "We are known in Colorado and nationwide as the custodians and ambassadors of honor."
Torres is Vice Commander of the Pueblo Veterans Ritual Team. It's A group made up of former service men and women. They provide funeral services and ceremonies for fallen soldiers, across Colorado, and specialize in the unique traditions that give honor to fallen soldiers.
"The three volley salute is a sacred ritual," Torres said. "Torres says the ceremonies they put on will look different because of social distancing, but their mission remains the same.
"We used to present the flag but now we can't do that," he said. "We have to set it on a table or stone and let someone else grab it."
Torres says before firing up the grill at home, now is the time to focus more on what this holiday is really about.
"Be mindful that there are veterans who died in combat, but there are also veterans who killed themselves, and are still on another battle field dealing with PTSD."
You can still honor veterans by flying a flag at half staff, and visiting a local cemetery. Parents can also explain to their kids what veterans have fought for, and who served in their own families.