Memorial Day observance

MAKING MEMORIAL DAY MORE PERSONAL - Town officials are calling upon Reading residents to decorate their front doors with patriotic themes in order to remember the sacrificies paid by our deceased war veterans. The campaign is being launched as Reading’s traditional Memorial Day ceremonies and parade is being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Photo)

READING — A health pandemic won’t allow us to gather on Memorial Day to salute those who have sacrificed for our country. But it can’t stop residents from honoring them, one home at a time.

A release posted Monday on the Town of Reading website has the details on what it calls a Patriotic Door Decorating Campaign.

"Memorial Day 2020, like everything else these days, is going to be different.  We will not have a parade or large ceremonies at our cemeteries.  I'm hoping that people take this opportunity to create their own memorial to remember the service and sacrifice of a loved one,” said Veterans Services Officer Kevin Bohmiller.  

While Reading is unable to hold its normal slate of Memorial Day activities this year, local officials believe it important to recognize and honor our local heroes in a respectful, dignified and patriotic manner.

And as with many things, the call for action through the patriotic door decorations will begin right at home. The campaign begins on Monday, May 11th and runs through Memorial Day weekend.

Reached earlier this week, Bohmiller, though admitting he’ll miss partaking in Reading’s traditional Memorial Day celebrations, says the COVID-19 pandemic is giving the town’s citizens an opportunity to personally reflect on what the national day of observance means to them.

By decorating their home’s front entryways in memory of close relatives, friends, and neighbors who served our country, residents can use the activity as a way to pass along stories with their household members about the veterans being remembered.

“This is a chance to share the stories of grandma or grandpa, mom or dad, husband or wife, son or daughter, that put on a uniform and went far away to protect our freedoms.  These are the stories we must never forget,” said the veterans services officer.   “May 25th will be different but we will continue to celebrate, honor and remember those that have gone before us.  Thank you for taking part.  I hope you share your Memorial Day door on the town Facebook page."

Reading has a strong history of honoring all those that served to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.  Town officials hope to carry that tradition forward and ask that all please participate to show our collective respect for and to honor those service members who have gone before us.

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