Commemorate Memorial Day Virtually

Current events have made it impossible for folks to gather in person to honor those who served and sacrificed for our country, but thanks to the internet, many organizations and municipalities will be hosting observances online. Here are just a few:

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund will host a virtual commemoration at 1 p.m. Eastern. The “Founders of the Wall” also invite website visitors to write a message, send a video or take a virtual tour of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The American Legion is asking members and those outside of the organization to share the names of those who will be honored and remembered on Memorial Day via its social media channels over Memorial Day weekend. Submit the servicemember’s name (along with the submitter’s relationship to the servicemember), year entering and leaving the military, branch of service, American Legion membership and a photo of the servicemember in uniform or civilian clothes via Legiontown. Submissions will be shared via Facebook and Twitter starting today. Follow along either social media platform using the hashtag #VirtualMemorialDay.

The United Services Automobile Association features various ways in which visitors to its website can honor servicemembers and pay tribute this Memorial Day: wear a poppy, the symbol of remembrance; how to dedicate a poppy using Snapchat; how to support families who have lost a military loved one; how to inspire grandchildren and teach them the meaning of the day; watch Vietnam veteran Michael Reagan draw pencil sketches of fallen military heroes; and more.  

The City of Mission Viejo will host a virtual ceremony from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. via its YouTube channel. Marine Corps Colonel Chisteon Griffin with Headquarters Battalion, Camp Pendleton, will serve as the keynote speaker, accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel John Bleigh, a Special Forces Commander with the U.S. Army and a local resident. The ceremony will also feature a special message from Sergeant Major Scifo, Battalion Sergeant Major, and Gayle Wood, Chairperson for the Marine and Sailors Adoption Committee. In addition, the city is hosting a drive-through American heroes tribute to maintain social distancing through Thursday, May 28, in the courtyard at 200 Civic Center. The 3-by-9-foot banners pay homage to American soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

The City of Dana Point also will host a ceremony live at 10 a.m. via its YouTube channelDana Point VFW Post 9934 and the city will feature Marine Color Guard from Marine Aircraft Group 39, Camp Pendleton, Post 9934 Rifle Team, and the “Boots and Rifle” ritual by members of the Dana Point VFW Post and Auxiliary 9934. This program will include special remembrance of U.S. military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice in combat operations during the past year. 

Remember the Fallen Virtual 21K invites folks to run or walk the distance recognized as the highest honor by many nations, 21K. Participants can cover the miles at their own pace through 11:30 p.m. June 30. Standard participants receive the 4-inch Remember the Fallen 21k Finisher Medal and an official Tyvek race bib. Register here; fees range from $27 to $60, depending on participant registration level.

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