Thankful for the ultimate sacrifice

Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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It seemed lonelier this year. Loved ones roamed cemeteries by themselves, services were either canceled or allowed limited attendance.

But while Memorial Day 2020 didn’t have the same in-person support as it might normally have without a worldwide pandemic, the support was no different.

One of the most important days of the year, people around the country still celebrated those who made the ultimate sacrifice of fighting for our country and its freedom.

Grills fired up, people took moments of silence, said their prayers and posted their gratitude all over social media.

And there were others who still were able to find ways to honor those who died protecting our country, including at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo and Pelham Cemetery.

At the National Cemetery, where there would normally be 3,000 or more in attendance to pay their respects, it was a quieter day than usual, but there was still plenty of celebration happening.

In a ceremony closed to the public, there was a flyover, a moment of prayer, a national anthem, the pledge, taps and a wreath laying by Gold Star Parents.

While there weren’t thousands in attendance for the ceremony, it was made available directly after through video, while pictures were also worth a thousand words.

It was an emotional moment to know in that instant, we weren’t focused on everything in the world around us that has been causing stress, but realizing how lucky we are to have the lives we do because of those who died for this country.

Later that night, Pelham Boy Scout Troop 404, who would have normally been a part of the event at the National Cemetery just a few miles south, held a special ceremony of its own at Pelham Cemetery to also honor and thank those who lost their lives fighting for our country.

Whether it be them raising the flag, then lowering it and folding it properly, or the flyover that started the ceremony at the National Cemetery with loved ones around planting flags, flowers and balloons for loved ones, or the majority of us at home honoring in our own way; Memorial Day this year had just as much of an impact as any if not more.

There is no shortage of gratitude for those who put their lives on the line with our safety ahead of their own.