In 2020, we will be holding Memorial Day recognitions differently than any other time in our lives because of COVID-19. Year after year, the citizens of Cherry Hill had the privilege and duty to join together in one resounding voice in front of the township building to remember those United States military members and their families that have paid the ultimate price to preserve the freedoms that we hold so dear.
Memorial Day was founded as a holiday by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. In 1863 during a ceremony at the dedication of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as a national cemetery, President Lincoln led a commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers, and many historians think that was the start of Memorial Day.
Since the Lincoln commemoration in 1863 more than one million men and women in military uniforms have given their lives during peace and wartime operations in defense of our country. In addition, more than 80,000 men and women are still classified as Prisoners-of-War and Missing-in-Action (POW/MIA).
This year on Monday, May 25, because of COVID-19 Memorial Day recognition in Cherry Hill will be held virtually, as it will be for many for other New Jersey townships. However, the way we recognize those that have paid the ultimate price should not diminish the importance of their sacrifice.
Since we can’t stand together in front of the township building this year, we can show our respect to those lost in battle and their families in “One Voice” by flying your flag outside your house on Memorial Day and explaining to your children, grandchildren and neighbors why your flag is posted.
Join me this virtual Memorial Day — 2020 not by setting a table for one but remembering in “One Voice” those that can’t be with us by flying your United States of America flag.
Nelson L Mellitz