The Hailey Memorial Day Committee has announced that the traditional ceremony marking the holiday will not be taking place this year amid continuing concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19.
The committee—Ray Grosvenor, Marsha Reimann, Teddie Daley, Katie Alloway, Wayne Burke and Geegee Lowe—released a letter to confirm its decision.
“This decision was not made lightly,” the letter reads. “It follows many discussions undertaken with governing bodies and public health officials, as well as directives from the State of Idaho. The decision is heart-wrenching for our committee.”
The ceremony traditionally takes place in the Hailey cemetery on the morning of Memorial Day, which lands on Monday, May 25, this year.
While gatherings, flag-folding, 21 gun-salute and other ceremonial proceedings will not take place, the committee asserted that the more than 420 veterans laid to rest Hailey will be honored.
“It is regrettable that the COVID-19 pandemic is not allowing us to gather as a community on Memorial Day to honor our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice,” the letter says. “We want you to know we will not forget. Memorial Day observance cannot be cancelled.”
The committee will still decorate each of the veterans’ graves with flags and carnations, and the traditional memorial wreath will be laid upon the Blaine County Veterans monument in the cemetery. The Armed Services individual flags will also fly from dawn to dusk on May 25.
The cemetery will be open if people would like to drive through to offer their remembrance.
“We’d like to send a huge thank you to the public health officials and health care workers who are working tirelessly to keep us safe and manage this crisis to the best of their ability. Stay safe, take care of each other and we wish you and yours well.”