Editorial: Memorial Day weekend, high school graduation brings some normalcy, but we’re not out of the woods yet
As we enter into Memorial Day Weekend here in Moffat County, with it comes the the absence of the traditional graduation ceremonies, carnival and street festivals
A small sense of normalcy is slowly returning locally but also a new normal begins to emerge. As we see life return to our streets and foot traffic increase inside local businesses we as a community can’t let up in our safe practices. While numbers are very low here when it comes to the novel coronavirus, that should be viewed as a testament to the work we as a community have done in listening to our public health officials instead of as another key example that this is nothing more than the flu.
Memorial Day weekend is usually a time to relax, fire up the grill and soak up some sun with family and friends. This year, try to limit crowds to no more than 10 people if you must. Enjoy time outside, use disposable service, consider not having a traditional potluck, and keep food limited.
For many, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. The three-day weekend to break out the barbecue, begin to wear white, head to the lake or river with family and maybe, just maybe, break out Old Glory for a spin in the blustery winds of May. For some, Memorial Day is something to “celebrate” as it means a day off from work and some sales at local auto dealers or retailers. Over the years, Memorial Day has shifted in its meaning. Some believe it is a day to remember all those who have passed. That sentiment may be nice, but it is not the true meaning of the day.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for U.S. soldiers who died in military service. It was first observed in 1868, when flowers were placed on graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. It later changed from honoring the dead from the Civil War to honoring the dead from all American wars. Once known as “Decoration Day,” it was traditionally observed on May 30. Now it is on the last Monday in May to create the three-day weekend.
In years past a public ceremony would be held at the Craig Cemetery remembering the fallen who are buried here locally. COVID-19 has unsurprisingly forced that to change this year as well, as the American Legion will instead live stream a broadcast from the cemetery on Saturday on YouTube.
Please take time to tune in when you can to remember these true American heroes. Instead of hosting a blowout BBQ, consider creating a wreath to place on a loved ones resting place, take a moment to recognize lives lost and be grateful for the umbrella of safety we have been sheltered under for the past 60 days.
When it comes to Moffat County’s graduation parade on Saturday, make sure to practice social distancing, wear a mask if you feel you need to, and celebrate the Class of 2020 the best way we as a community possibly can. Take a few minutes to honor the students born during the days of the national tragedy of 9/11 and now graduating amidst the shadow of a unique situation. If you prefer, watch the 3-part video series of the festivities brought to you by Craig Press, MC Proud, Bank of Colorado and Tri-State on http://www.craigdailypress.com
While celebrating the Class of 2020, let it serve as a stark reminder that while some normalcy is returning locally, we aren’t even close to being completely out of the woods yet with this virus. As one editorial board member put it: “the ice is melting around the virus, but we as a community could still trigger an avalanche of cases at any time.”
Don’t be lulled into thinking life is back to normal.
Let us not feel too safe and stop practicing proper hand-washing techniques and social distancing guidelines. Let us continue to slowly ease back into a normal way of life this weekend and continue to be mindful of our surroundings.
When the day that we’re back to normal might come is not clear yet, but this much is certain: It depends greatly on whether residents of Moffat County have the fortitude and patience to continue their vigilance for a bit longer.
Stay safe, and have a great weekend Moffat County.
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