As we endure another month of the COVID-19 pandemic, an announcement was recently made that residents would not be able to place American flags on graves at military cemeteries for Memorial Day, most notably Calverton National Cemetery in Suffolk County. This change has been implemented due to COVID-19 concerns. Parades and large ceremonies commemorating the holiday have also been canceled in Nassau County and across the nation.
On May 18th, the Majority Caucus of the Nassau County Legislature joined with Chris Coscia, CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scout Faith Stallone, and Richard DeMartino, Commander of the Garden City Park Veterans of Foreign War Post 120, to announce a new Memorial Day Initiative allowing Nassau County residents to still be able to pay their respects to our nation’s fallen heroes.
The new Memorial Day initiative encourages residents to print a PDF image of an American Flag and poppy flower, and tape it to the upper right corner of their front doors. This small gesture, while not fully replacing the parades and flags at graves, will keep the memory of the heroes we have lost alive, and make sure this important holiday is not forgotten during the pandemic.
The poster can be found and printed here on the Nassau County Legislature’s website: https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/489/County-Legislature
The American Flag of course represents the symbol of our Country, which is brought into battlefields by soldiers in wars past. The red poppy flower, the symbol of Memorial Day, represents the first plant to grow on war-torn battlefields. The wearing of poppy flowers on Memorial Day was inspired by a 1915 poem by John McCrae.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Nassau County to change the ways we honor our nation’s fallen heroes on Memorial Day," Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello said. "Since parades and flag placements at military cemeteries have been canceled, Nassau’s residents must have a way to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and to recognize our men and women who continue to put their lives on the line every day in service to our great nation. I encourage everyone to visit https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/489/County-Legislature, to print out the poster we have provided, featuring the Poppy flower and our American Flag, or make your own poster and tape it proudly in the upper right corner of your front door. This is a simple way to honor those men and women of our armed forces that we have lost and show our patriotism and unity this Memorial Day."
"Every Memorial Day, we honor the brave men and women of our armed forces that gave their lives for this Country," Legislator Bill Gaylor, a retired U.S ArmyLieutenant Colonel said. "This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not able to hold the same activities we usually do and must find a different way to honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. This new initiative offers families another way to honor Memorial Day and keep the legacy of those who we have lost, alive.”