Yorktown church holds virtual Memorial Day celebration

York County

YORKTOWN, Va. (WAVY) — A local church is keeping its Memorial Day traditions this year, only it’s made it virtual.

For more than 20 years, the Grace Episcopal Church in Yorktown has held a Memorial Day service at honoring those lost while serving their country. The church wanted to make sure it gives the same honor this year, but things looked a little different.

“I will miss the solemn procession through our beautiful graveyard the naming of each veteran and replacing the flags and the air force guards salutes,” said one of the leaders in their live YouTube video.

But despite not being there in person, members of the church and community spoke about the sacrifice men and women over the years have had to make during wars and conflicts.

“More than 400,000 Americans gave their lives for our Americans’ freedom,” said Al Crane Jr., who served in the U.S. Air Force.

“It was a special moment. It meant an exhausting war was officially over, but the day was also bittersweet for the many Americans whose loved ones would not be returning home,” he added.

They also took a moment to recognize, although this year is different, being able to celebrate at all this year at home is a luxury many don’t have.

“May those who have canceled trips remember those who have no safe place to go,” said Sandy Armstrong Richmond.

“May those who can settle in for quarantine at home remember those who have no home,” she added.

It was long, but they made time to name every veteran there.

“As fear engulfs our country let us choose love. During this time we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God,” she said.

As is tradition, they made a point to recognize that although they couldn’t do it all together this year, each veteran would receive a new flag on their gravesite.

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