Memphis National Cemetery holds private Memorial Day ceremony

Volunteers honor fallen veterans at Memphis National Cemetery

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis National Cemetery did not hold a public Memorial Day ceremony this year.

However, family members of veterans were allowed to still visit their gravesites.

It is something Tommy Wooten's done for the last two years on Memorial Day.

“I’m putting flowers on my uncle’s grave,” he said. “I usually come in the morning time.”

But this Memorial Day morning was different. There was no crowd gathered at the heroes of Illinois monument, because of CDC guidelines encouraging social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It was sad. You know, we're used to having 300 to 400 people here," said Cemetery Director Amanda Rhodes-Wharton.

Instead there were a few organizers, media members, and a boy scout who volunteered his time to play Taps.

While things are much different, and social interaction is keeping people apart, those who've given the ultimate sacrifice have not been forgotten.

Wooten said about his uncle, “I think it’s my duty to put flowers on his grave.”

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.