Due to COVID-19, the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona’s annual Memorial Day event (May 25), will change from an in-person ceremony to a televised and live stream event to comply with the Center for Disease Control’s public safety guidelines. The event will be both televised and shared via Livestream thanks to a partnership between AZTV’s (Channel 7) Arizona Daily Mix and the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona’s (NMCA) Support Committee.
The event will air from 8 to 9 a.m. on Monday, May 25, 2020, on AZTV Channel 7 or via live stream online at https://www.aztv.com/live-streaming.
The ceremony will offer traditional military offerings including:
- A flyover by the Primary Trainer Squadron of the Arizona Antique Airplane Association is set and will depict a missing man formation.
- Former Maricopa County Attorney and Veteran Court Judge Rick Romley will serve as emcee.
- The National Anthem by CWO3 Steve Brinning, Army National Guard.
- Remarks by VA National Cemetery Director Srey Austin.
- The Prisoner of War and Missing in Action table reading by Kathy Upchurch, Gold Star Wife.
- Rifle Volley by Army National Guard Military Funeral group.
- Playing of Taps by Mark Gus Scott.
The NMCA Support Committee saw the need to move the event to a virtual one due to the continuing issues the United States is facing with COVID-19.
“We typically have two to three thousand people at our Memorial Day event at the National Cemetery. We knew with the current safety guidelines in place that we would need to move it to a virtual event. We’re grateful we were able to partner with AZTV7, to turn our virtual event into reality,” said Sue Wudy, Vietnam Veteran and Committee Chairwoman.
In addition to broadcasting the ceremony, AZTV will also interview veterans and tie in other touches to help Arizona honor and remember our fallen military men and women on Memorial Day.
Memorial Day started shortly after the Civil War and was called Decoration Day as it was a time to honor those who had died during that War. It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress. It is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.