Memorial Day ceremony adjusted amid pandemic

PRESIDIO COUNTY — Memorial Day is less than a week away and this year’s services will look a little different. A Memorial Day ceremony will be held outdoors on the courthouse lawn on Monday, May 25 at 10 a.m. Normally, the ceremony is held at the visitor’s center, with close seating available for everyone. “We are committed to observing Memorial Day 2020 in a manner that honors those who sacrificed for our nation while protecting the health and safety of our visitors,” said County Judge Cinderela Guevara.

As an alternative to the traditional ceremony, veterans and family members are asked to gather on the courthouse lawn while implementing social distancing and wearing masks, if possible though not required. The ceremony will be expected to last a little less than an hour. The normal preamble can be expected during the ceremony with a warm welcome, an opening prayer, the pledge of allegiance, a few words from fellow veterans, the reading of the names of our fallen heroes and the playing of taps.

Veterans will then be asked to go into the courtroom, where social distancing can continue, to watch a short video in their honor. This is hosted by Gary Mitchke, the Presidio County Emergency Coordinator.

And lastly, because 2020 is an important anniversary in the life of the United States as it is the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II, and we continue to lose the last of our WWII veterans, as another alternative to honoring veterans, the county judge said she hopes people will consider a vehicle parade to honor local veterans. The public is asked to gather at the elementary school at 10:45 a.m. and from there proceed to a route circling the courthouse where veterans will be awaiting the honorary drive by. The drive by is hosted by the Marfa Volunteer Fire Department and various law enforcement agencies. Everyone is encouraged to display patriotic colors and posters in honor of your loved ones by writing their names and branches of service.

Afterwards these posters can be dropped off at the courthouse, where they will be on display until July 4. “It is important that Memorial Day does not just become a holiday as the day that swimming pools and amusement parks officially open. It is a time of remembrance and we must not forget the men who sacrificed, the ones who died to give us the freedom to be proud to be an American and live in this great land,” Judge Guevara said.