Memorial Day has a special significance to the heart as it marks the time set aside to remember those who sacrificed their lives to ensure the freedoms of future generations. Memorial Day 2020 was different in Waverly. Due to the coronavirus, the Avenue of the Flags, the display of flags along the cemetery, was canceled because social distancing could not be observed in the handling of the flags.

However, volunteers still decorated the graves of veterans at Harlington Cemetery and installed a scaled-down version of Flanders Fields, a display of crosses and poppies typically planted in honor of the fallen in the unfilled area of the cemetery overlooking the main road.

At the entrance of the cemetery another display of flags greeted visitors on Monday and a fresh bouquet of flowers, along with flags, were placed at the monument honoring the servicemen and women, near the entrance of the cemetery.

A scaled-down ceremony was held at the Waverly Area Veterans Post Monday morning with a program honoring the veterans.

The speaker, Richard Miller, the Commander of the Post, paid a special tribute to the front-line heroes like nurses, doctors, medical and care staff, as well as first responders who are in the trenches in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Every year on this weekend I walk around the cemetery to document its transformation from a tree-lined green space filled with headstones and monuments to a colorful flower- and flag-filled space where the past is remembered.

Started after the Civil War, Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. Let it be remembered that its meaning is made enduring by the way the living live the memory of the dead.