PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - Many Memorial Day traditions have been broken this year due to COVID-19, but a group of people in Pass Christian found a way to still safely honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Volunteers with the Knights of Columbus and VFW Post 5931 put flags at the graves of every veteran in seven cemeteries in and around the city on Friday.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, they wanted to make sure those who paid the ultimate sacrifice are not forgotten.
“It’s real important that we don’t forget these guys, and I talked to some of the other guys, and they said no, we’re going to go ahead and still do it, so here we are," said Greg Niolet with the Knights of Columbus.
“They are the ones that are giving us our freedom and all the nice things that we take for granted," said Joseph Boisvenue with VFW Post 5931. “We need to keep them in our minds. Never forget those who served."
Refusing to let COVID-19 overshadow the significance of Memorial Day is a sentiment shared by all who came to volunteer, including Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott.
“We always had Memorial Weekend coincide with Jazz in the Pass on this weekend. That’s all been shut down, so this is a chance to get out, and we have a lot of space in between people and doing a good thing at the same time," the mayor said.
“It’s nice to see that even through these challenging times that we didn’t forget. That we’re out here, walking amongst and finding old heroes and marking them with a flag. So we didn’t forget," said volunteer Alex Kooney.
The volunteers placed around 500 flags at the graves of veterans on Friday.
“It’s my privilege to continue to come out and see who served and protected us, and I’m here for them," said Peggy Schloegel.
“It’s nice to be able to honor your veterans and just get out and do something about honoring your veterans," said Asa Jones, a volunteer and grandson of Greg Niolet.