Memorial Day 2020 in Phoenix: Drive-by flag displays, livestreams and more

by 24USATVMay 22, 2020, 5:40 p.m. 21
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Memorial Day will look a little different in metro Phoenix this year.

The National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona will not host events for Memorial Day due to the new coronavirus pandemic, and neither will Pioneer and Military Memorial Park.

As its cemeteries remain closed, the Pioneers' Cemetery Association posted a video in memory of veterans on its Facebook page, showing that observance of the holiday will largely be an online and at-home event for many this year.

Memorial Day, which this year is Monday, May 25, commemorates those who died on active duty in a war — not to be confused with Veterans Day, which honors the service of all U.S. veterans.

Here are ceremonies and events where you can pay respects while maintaining social distancing.

The annual ceremony at the Fountain Hills Veterans Memorial will take place at 9 a.m. on Monday, as usual. However, the public is not invited to attend and there will be no speeches or keynote speaker.

Instead, the event will be led by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7507 and broadcast live on Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce's Facebook page.

"The abbreviated ceremony will consist of an invocation, posting of the colors, Pledge of Allegiance, national anthem, laying of wreath, taps and retrieval of the colors," Boe James of VFW Post 7507 told The Arizona Republic.

The full video will later be posted to the Town of Fountain Hills website and to the VFW Post 7507's Facebook page and website.

The 14th annual "Flags for Our Fallen" event, which honors the U.S. armed forces outside the Phoenix National Memorial Cemetery, can be observed while practicing social distancing this year.

The event will be "toned down" due to the pandemic, according to Riders USA's website. There will be no public motorcycle staging or line-up along Cave Creek Road. Instead, people can drive by from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Memorial Day to see the flag display at the intersection of Cave Creek and Pinnacle Peak roads.

"Last year we had displayed 500 American flags with an honor guard of hundreds of motorcycles and hot rods lining the streets leading into the cemetery in giving tribute to our fallen warriors and deceased veterans," a description of the event on Riders USA's website reads.

"We will continue to honor our military men and women regardless of the current circumstances and restrictions we face today."

For more information about Riders USA's event and how to sponsor a flag, check the event page.

Those who are unable to or uncomfortable with leaving their homes, have options for tuning in to Memorial Day ceremonies. Several cemeteries in the Phoenix area and a VFW post in Surprise will make their commemorations available on Facebook.
• Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary, 10-11 a.m. at facebook.com/PhoenixMemorialPark.
• Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery, 9 a.m. at facebook.com/ValleyOfTheSunMortuary.
• Green Acres Mortuary and Cemetery, 10 a.m. at facebook.com/GreenAcresMortuary.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 285 in Surprise will show live video of its ceremony from the Nicky D. Bacon memorial at City Hall on its Facebook page. The post commander and chaplain will speak during Stanley A. Crews VFW Post 3513's Facebook livestream beginning at 11 a.m.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or at 602-444-4968. Follow her on Twitter @kimirobin.

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