RI Memorial Day events modified this year to maintain social distancing

South County

EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — Though the event will be smaller and primarily virtual, a ceremony at the Veterans Cemetery in Exeter will still go on, despite the pandemic.

“And we are going to mark this solemn and special occasion because that’s the right thing to do,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said in her May 20 daily briefing.

The Rhode Island Military Honors Team will still have a firing of the volleys and play taps at the Rhode Island State Veteran Cemetery in Exeter at 11 a.m. — WPRI 12 will carry a live stream of the event on WPRI.com.

Even leading up to Memorial Day, events Gold Star families traditionally go to had to be changed. A video presentation was made in place of the traditional the Boots on the Ground for Heroes ceremony.

Cub and Boy scouts will be placing an American flag of a service member at Highland Memorial Park Cemetery in Johnston throughout Memorial Day Weekend.

The annual tradition had to be modified this year. Instead of dozens of scouts at once, each will have their own section of the cemetery to maintain social distancing.

Raimondo is asking Rhode Islanders to find a way to express your gratitude to our veterans Monday.

“Figure out how to do it. Thank a veteran, donate to a veterans organization,” Raimondo said. “Although it’s a time to go to the beach and have a barbecue, that’s not what the day is about. The day is about remembering the fallen Americans who have served in defense of our country and remembering their families who have lost a loved one.”

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