Parks and Rec. goes virtual for Memorial Day

By Amy Filippone, Parks & Recreation Dept.

Monday, May 25, 2020 marks the 34th annual Moorestown Memorial Day Ceremony, and while the current pandemic precluded any public gatherings, the Moorestown Department of Parks and Recreation found a way to bring the ceremony to all of us. The pre-filmed ceremony is available for virtual viewing. 

“We really felt we couldn’t just skip this over,” Mayor Nicole Gillespie said. “We needed to do something, and this felt like the best way to keep the same tone and keep as much of it as possible without taking any risks. This is mostly thanks to Theresa (Miller, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department) who had this idea of doing it virtually and it came together.”

The ceremony was recorded over a couple of days at Memorial Field with some changes to the original program for safety reasons.

“They will still be reading the names of all the Moorestown residents who lost their lives in service,” Gillespie said. “Usually the Girl Scouts carry a flower for each person and place it on a wreath, and the Boy scouts are involved in raising the flag so they are not involved this year. We’re trying to keep it as close as we can to the usual ceremony, but of course, recognizing that we can’t bring that many people together.”

This year’s theme is “Women in the Military,” which is especially meaningful for Gillespie, herself a veteran of the United States Navy. One of the featured speakers, LaVonne Camp, served as an army nurse in the China India Burma Theater of Operation in World War II. Camp wasn’t able attend the taping so retired Air Force Colonel Linda Carskadon will read from Camp’s book, “Lingering Fever: A World War II Nurse’s Memoir.”

This year’s program is below and is available to be viewed online at www.moorestown.nj.us .

During these trying times, let us reflect and appreciate the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. 

“This is one of things that I’ve always really loved about what Moorestown does for Memorial Day,” Gillespie said. “It is very solemn, and it’s about remembering people whose lives were lost. I think it’s important to think about what Memorial Day is really about.”