Historic Yorktown church will continue Memorial Day ceremony online

York County

YORKTOWN, Va. (WAVY) — Grace Episcopal Church in Yorktown has been around since the late 1600s.

It’s a church full of history and tradition that parishioners will continue to honor, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each year, the church holds a veterans and Memorial Day ceremony, where they recognize nearly 100 veterans buried in its cemetery, according to the ceremony coordinator Al Crane.

“We will not forget the people. They’re part of history. They’re part of our lives, and if we’re not going to remember them … well, we are going to remember them,” Crane said about the church’s plans to hold a virtual ceremony instead.

Crane says it’s important that they were still able to do something to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It would be a shame that during this time we didn’t take time out to honor and remember those who gave their lives,” he said.

The ceremony will last around 30 minutes and will list off the names of those buried in the cemetery.

Crane says it will also be immersive for viewers.

“It’s not just scrolling images but we’ll also be able to walk people through the ceremony and graveyard like they were there,” he said.

Doing this is special for Crane because he’s retired U.S. Air Force. His father was a World War II veteran and Crane is also a Vietnam veteran.

“I’m a graduate of The Citadel 1965. Three of my classmates were killed, two within the first year. It’s very personal for me, not only from this standpoint but of the community’s. It’s a historic community in Yorktown. We’re blessed to have people here who are blessed to come together who honor these people” he said.

The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day.

You can watch it here on the church’s YouTube channel.

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