Governor Charlie Baker, along with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and several other elected officials, held a virtual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday to honor those who have served the country and those who have lost their lives.
Baker said in the pre-taped ceremony that he has participated in many Memorial Day ceremonies across the Commonwealth over the years, but “the one thing I’ve always really appreciated about all of those ceremonies is the chance that it gives me to look in the eye the men and women who serve, the families of those who serve, and thank them for their commitment and their sacrifice to this great country of ours.”
He added that, “but this year because of COVID-19, we’re all doing this virtually. But that doesn’t mean the sentiments change along the way.”
He thanked those who have serve on behalf of the United States, and said that next year, he “hopes and expects” that people can reunite and hug each other “both figuratively and literally.”
Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Bob DeLeo said that “…at this time when we’re going through a very difficult time in our history because of the COVID-19 virus, that we also take time to make sure that we remember those who have fought diligently, fought very hard, the service men and women of our great country.”
The video also showed clips from socially distanced ceremonies at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea, the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon, Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Agawam, as well as musical interludes and a “Tribute to the Fallen” by the Massachusetts National Guard.
“In addition the virtual Memorial Day Ceremony, through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Department of Veterans’ Services, building managers and Veterans Service Officers across the Commonwealth, buildings, bridges, flags, and parks throughout the Commonwealth were illuminated in gold to honor Gold Star Families last night on Sunday, May 24,” according to the state.
On the Boston Common, where around 37,000 flags are usually placed to honor Massachusetts service members who died while serving the country, 1,000 flags were planted six feet apart this year instead.
The effort, led by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund (MMHF) and Project 351, took place after midnight on May 25.
“After midnight today, a small group led by our staff & board members along with ambassadors from @TeamProject351 gathered on Boston Common to create a limited garden of about 1,000 flags to join those hanging in windows, on porches, front lawns & online at #HeroesFlagGarden,” MMHF tweeted on Monday. “We’re so thankful to all who helped make this happen, including the City of Boston and our sponsors. Please visit carefully today, observe the social distance like the flags are doing. Honor and remember.” Mayor Marty Walsh tweeted on Monday, “Thank you @MaMilHeroes for helping us honor those who gave their lives in service of our country. Although thus year’s Flag Garden may look different, the spirit of this moving commemoration will remain.”