COVID-19 modifications offer different ways to honor vets

Posted at 3:14 PM, May 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-24 15:14:57-04

CINCINNATI — The Field of Memories at Arlington Memorial looks a little different due to COVID-19 -- the gardens are leaning on technology so family and friends can still honor their lost loved ones.

Normally you would be able to walk through the Field of Memories and stop to honor a flag representing an individual. This year COVID-19 is forcing the event to be a drive thru only. Lisa Mcclain, program and development coordinator for Arlington Memorial, said there are other ways to honor those who have served.

“Memorial Day is not cancelled and neither is our gratitude,” Mcclain said.

You can still use the Arlington Memorial Gardens website to locate your loved one.

“It will pick them up wherever they are via Google Maps and it will walk them directly to their loved one’s grave site,” Mcclain said.

Air Force veteran Mike Kettler drove by the field of memories before visiting the grave sites of his former colleagues.

“I had a couple of guys I went to high school with and they didn’t make it back and they were only in Vietnam for about a week,” Kettler said. “I just respect all the guys and everybody that’s died being in the military. I’d do it again, but they told me I was too old.”

Mcclain encourages those who can’t make it to the gardens to reach out to a vet, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would imagine there’s a lot of lonely times for them. Reach out to a veteran, just express your gratitude and let them know that you’re thinking about them,” she said.

Photos and videos will be uploaded to the Arlington Memorial Gardens website and there will be a moment of silence Monday at 3:00 p.m.