The long Memorial Day weekend has always served as the opening of the floodgates to tourists coming to Maine for the summer. For locals, it's been an opportunity to get 'upta camp' or go to a parade or enjoy barbecues with family and friends.

More importantly, it's a time of remembrance. It's a time to reflect on those who gave everything for us and our country.

Traditionally, large groups of volunteers gather at the national cemeteries for a ceremony and to place the flags on each grave, but because of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it will be different for Memorial Day 2020.

Veterans Saluting

According to WMTW, this year volunteers will not be allowed to partake in this tradition. Instead, the National Cemetery Administration will have wreath-laying ceremonies that will not be open to the public.

The National Cemetery Administration website does state, however, that the cemeteries across the country will be open for visitation and family members and friends are allowed to place flags at the graves.

Maine has two national cemeteries; Togus National Cemetery and Mount Pleasant Cemetery Soldiers' Lot.

So we can't attend a parade. We can't gather in large groups. While Memorial Day will look different for everyone this year, take a moment to reach out to loved ones, pay respects to those we have lost, and hey, no one's stopping you from throwing a burger on the grill, too.

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