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Virtual ceremonies, car cruises replace traditional Memorial Day events

Car parade.jpg
Posted at 4:31 PM, May 25, 2020

Local Memorial Day ceremonies looked a bit different this year.

While some events were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, others were moved online.

At the Arroyo Grande Cemetery flags were still placed at every marked veteran's grave but the ceremony had no guests as people were encouraged to watch virtually instead.

"Today means we are honoring all the people that gave their lives for us to be able to stand here today," said Kenneth Fried.

"In the military, they teach you to adapt, improvise and overcome and that's what we're doing here," said Robert Tolan, co-founder of Welcome Home Military Heroes. "Even in a global crisis that we're in, we don't want to stop honoring our military heroes."

The Welcome Home Military Heroes event in Arroyo Grande featured a virtual ceremony live streamed on Facebook with The Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"We have a lot of different family members that have passed and so it's an extremely emotional day for all of us to honor those that have fallen," said military mother Lindy Woods.

There was a flyover by the Estrella Warbirds Museum's Freedom Flight group. A vehicle salute around the city followed.

"We've had to get very creative in ways to show our patriotism, our honor and respect, so we have been doing a lot of vehicle parades," said Cheryl Tolan, Welcome Home Military Heroes co-founder.

Dozens of classic cars, Challengers and motorcycles hit the streets for the Memorial Day ride.

The City of Pismo Beach hosted its annual Memorial Day ceremony virtually this year as well.

The nearly four-minute video was posted on YouTube and Facebook for people to view starting at 10 a.m.