Although the COVID-19 pandemic will put a damper on this year’s Memorial Day events, Helena-area residents will still have several opportunities to pay their respects.
East Helena’s Memorial Day Parade has been canceled, but East Helena VFW Post 10010 will host a scaled-back ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at Main Street Park. The event will include the National Anthem performed by the Daughters of the American Revolution, a rifle salute by the color guard, and a short message from Post 10010 Cmdr. Tom Johnson.
“Because of this COVID stuff we have to respect the guidance from the state on the social distancing, but we’re going to pay tribute to the veterans that gave all for this nation,” Johnson said.
Also on Monday, the Montana Veterans Affairs Division will air a virtual Memorial Day ceremony featuring a wreath laying at the State Veterans Cemetery, a speech by Montana Adjutant Gen. Matthew T. Quinn, a cannon firing detail, the National Anthem, taps and a benediction and eulogy. Links to the video will be posted at montanadma.org and on the Montana National Guard's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MTGUARDOFFICIAL.
Ray Read, director of the Montana Military Museum at Fort Harrison, said wreaths will be placed at the Lewis and Clark County Veterans Memorial in Helena’s Memorial Park on the traditional Memorial Day date of May 30. The community is encouraged to place flowers at the memorial from May 25-30.