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 Unable to gather in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The War Memorial will present a special video tribute online May 25 for Memorial Day. This photo was taken at last year's ceremony.

Unable to gather in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The War Memorial will present a special video tribute online May 25 for Memorial Day. This photo was taken at last year's ceremony.

File photo by Sarah Purlee


War Memorial to offer video tribute to fallen heroes this Memorial Day

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 21, 2020

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — This year would have marked the 71st annual Memorial Day service on the back lawn of The War Memorial in Grosse Pointe Farms, but as with so many other important traditions, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced its cancellation.

With large public gatherings still a no-go due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home executive order in order to curb the spread of the virus, War Memorial officials are unable to conduct this year’s service in person. However, they do still plan on honoring fallen service members.

On May 25, The War Memorial will be sharing a short film on its social media channels, YouTube page and website. The video will include bagpiper Mary Beth Nicholson performing “Amazing Grace”; a keynote address from Brig. Gen. Richard R. Coffman, director of Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team; and a reading of the names of fallen service members from the Grosse Pointes, which has become one of the most special portions of the annual service for local residents.

“Each year, The War Memorial is honored to host a solemn service on Memorial Day, serving as a central place of remembrance for our community,” said War Memorial President and CEO Charles Burke in a press release. “The very foundation of our institution is built on the names engraved on our walls, and we strive to remember those brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. While we wish we could gather together in person, we believe that this year’s format will allow us to embrace our promise to patriotism, and our community, even during times of uncertainty.”

For more information or to see the video, click on the Patriotic tab on The War Memorial’s home page, www.warmemorial.org.