UPDATED: Memorial Day changed by COVID-19, but ceremonies go on
May 22, 2020
Although many celebrate with a trip to the cabin, the actual purpose of Memorial Day on Monday is to honor and recognize the war dead. It is observed on the last Monday in May, when many people also remember family members by placing flowers on graves or simply visiting the cemetery.
This year, under the cloud of a health pandemic, Memorial Day in Carlton County will not look like past commemorations.
Although Cloquet Combined Honor Guard is placing flags on the graves of soldiers Saturday, they will not be part of Memorial Day services in Cloquet or at any of the usual stops on Monday. Instead, the Pine Knot News learned after press time, a lone bugler will be playing at several locations Monday.
Bryce Moe, of the U.S. Marine Corp, will play at 10 different stops.
"There will be no rifle salute, and no Honor Guard. There will be a short prayer from myself, a moment of silence, and the playing of "Taps," Moe told the Pine Knot News.
Moe will make the following stops on Monday:
8:15 am- Sawyer Cemetery
8:30 am- St. Mary and Joseph, Sawyer
8:45 am- Holy Family Mission
9 am- Maple Grove
9:15 am- New Calvary
10 am- Pinehurst
10:15 am- Apostolic Church, Esko
10:30 am- St. Matthews, North Cloquet Road
10:45 am- Pine River, North Hwy 33
11 am- Veterans Park
Moe said times are approximate. Anyone who wishes to pay remembrance to those who have served and those who have fallen in service, please take appropriate safety measures. Either stay in your car, wear a mask, or follow social distancing, for the safety of yourself and those around you who have come to pay tribute.
Gary Dahl, Cloquet VFW Junior Vice Commander and DAV Senior Vice Commander, said the combined Cloquet Honor Guard realized there was no way to keep members of the honor guard socially distanced on the bus as they travel from ceremony to ceremony, and many members are older and more at risk of severe health consequences if they become ill with COVID-19.
Carlton VFW, Auxiliary and Honor Guard ceremonies
The Carlton VFW Post 2962 Auxiliary and Honor Guard will have cemetery ceremonies at the following locations:
• Eagle River 7:30 a.m.
• Cromwell 7:55 a.m.
• Sandy Lake 8:35 a.m.
• Elim Lutheran 9:15 a.m.
• Oak Lake 9:45 a.m.
• Nickerson 10:10 a.m.
• St. John's 10:55 a.m.
• Carlton 11:15 a.m.
• Flag raising at Carlton post 11:50 a.m.
The Moose Lake Area Memorial Day program will be held at 10 a.m. on May 25 at Veterans' Memorial Park in Moose Lake. The short program includes a 21-gun salute by an honor guard, taps, raising and lowering the flag, and a silent prayer. The ceremony will end with the laying down of poppies in memory of our fallen soldiers. The guard is requesting people remain in vehicles for the duration of the ceremony.
Protocol regarding social distancing should be followed by anyone heading out to cemeteries or other events in the coming days.