People across the Peace Garden State are celebrating Memorial Day today, honoring those who died in active military service. And although many celebrations were canceled, that didn’t stop people in Minot from paying their respects.
For the first time in history, the annual Memorial Day celebration in Minot was canceled due to COVID-19.
“I look at this where we have our social distancing going on, and it reminds me of a time when I had to leave my family to serve overseas.”
2nd Lt. Richard Reuer, who served in both the Marine Corps and the Navy, says for as long as he can remember, people, show up to the Rosehill Cemetery every Memorial Day. And even though it was canceled they still made sure to place American flags on the graves of fallen heroes.
“To these families, social distancing has always been 6 feet apart. Each time they come to honor and remember their loved ones, their remains lie 6 feet below from where they are standing,” said Reuer.
More than 100 people came out to the cemetery Monday. Some from near some from far, but all with the same mission in mind.
“My husband and I are putting flowers on his parent’s grave and our friend’s graves.
We have a lot of ties to Minot. We live in Grand Forks but that’s what Memorial Day means to me,” says Mary Koponen.
For many others the feeling was mutual, like the Kent family who comes out every year to place pennies on graves of soldiers.
“We’re all military-related. He’s an army veteran and army retired, and their dad is deployed right now to Africa.”
So even with all the restrictions and cancelations, they still had a mission to complete, just as so many did so we can have our freedom.
“We just wanted to remember the veterans and those who served.”
So before you bite into that burger or spend time with family and friends…take a second to remember those who made it all possible.