Park service details virtual Memorial Day commemorations

While Memorial Day commemorations at the monuments along the National Mall aren’t happening this weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Park Service on Thursday detailed ways people can mark the day at home.

Wreath-laying ceremonies at the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Navy Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be held virtually, and pre-recorded ceremonies will be posted to the Facebook pages of each monument and shared on the National Park Service’s Facebook page.

The World War II Memorial ceremonies will be posted at 9 a.m.; the Korean War memorial’s, at 10 a.m., and the Navy and Vietnam Veterans memorials’ ceremonies will be posted at 1 p.m.

The National Memorial Day Concert won’t be happening on the West Lawn of the Capitol, but the show will go on, with new performances and tributes filmed around the country mixed with tributes from past concerts. It’ll be broadcast on PBS Sunday from 8 to 9:30 p.m. and livestreamed on the concert’s website, as well as Facebook and YouTube.

“It’s actually going to be a very special kind of a show this year that I’m actually looking forward to because this is the first time I’ll be able to see it,” host Joe Mantegna told WTOP’s Jason Fraley. “This will be my 19th year. … Performances are going to be done by artists in their homes. … It’s going to include some of the best segments that we’ve had for close to 30 years.”

The park service said in a statement that while the memorials on the Mall are still accessible, most of the parking lots are closed. Visitor services, including restrooms, are closed, and the park service said it can and will close a memorial temporarily if crowds get too big for social distancing.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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