BEDFORD, Va. – Celebrating Memorial Day has changed for all Americans across the country this year.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to revamp their commemoration services.
The streets in the town of Bedford were quiet and the gates to the National D-Day Memorial closed because of the pandemic.
It’s kept thousands of people home who wanted to be sitting at the memorial remembering the veterans who gave their lives.
“And even though it can’t be done in the way we were able to do it last year, we felt such a connection to the story of these boys,” said Katie Thomas.
The pandemic didn’t stop Mary Massie and Thomas from remembering the fallen.
With masks on, the women spent their day at the town’s cemetery laying a rose at every Bedford Boy’s headstone to say thank you.
"We still felt that it was really important to come out and still commemorate their sacrifice,” Massie said.
For the first time, the D-Day National Memorial Foundation took its service online reaching thousands of people.
“We did something completely new that we’ve never tried before, but I think it turned out exceptionally well where we told the stories of those who’ve served and sacrificed for our country,” explained D-Day National Memorial Foundation President April Cheek-Messier.
D-Day officials are planning another virtual ceremony for the 76th D-day anniversary on June 6.