SunRiver to host short Memorial Day service, governor calls for moment of silence for fallen soldiers

Memorial Day observance at the Veterans Honor Park in SunRiver, St. George, Utah, May 30, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — While many Memorial Day events have been canceled across Iron and Washington counties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SunRiver community in St. George plans to observe the holiday with a brief service Monday morning.

Memorial Day observance at the Veterans Honor Park in SunRiver, St. George, Utah, May 30, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Noting the traditional Memorial Day ceremonies and services likely weren’t happening this year, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is asking citizens to take part in a shared moment of silence Monday afternoon in honor of America’s fallen soldiers.

SunRiver service

“Since the threat of COVID-19 virus spread is still a concern for many, this ceremony has been scaled down considerably and social distancing will be encouraged,” Valerie King, regent of the Color County Chapter of the Utah Daughters of the Revolution, said in an email to chapter members.

The Daughters, along with many others, participate in the Memorial Day service at SunRiver’s Veterans Honor Park each year. The group usually has a display of home-baked goods offered at the service which will not be included this year.

“Event organizers felt that a brief, modified remembrance ceremony would be better than not having one at all,” King said. “Although attendance will be very pale in comparison to past ceremonies, area residents and any other interested parties (which would include Color Country chapter members) who would like to attend may do so at their own discretion.”

The guest speaker featured at the service will be retired U.S. Air Force Major Donald Richardson. The National Anthem will be sung by Melissa Perry.

As seating will be limited, attendees are asked to bring their own folding chairs for use at the event.

Event details:

  • What: SunRiver Memorial Day Service
  • When: 8 a.m., Monday. May 25.
  • Where: SunRiver Veterans Honor Park, located at the intersection of Wide River Drive and Diamond River Drive in the SunRiver community west of Interstate 15’s Exit 2.

Officials with St. George, Washington City and Cedar City, which are also known to host their own Memorial Day services, confirmed they will not be holding those services this year due to pandemic concerns.

Governor orders flags to half-staff for Memorial Day

Utah’s governor has order flags to be flown at half-staff starting at noon on Memorial Day “in honor of Memorial Day and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who gave their lives in the service of our country,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Stock image, St. George News

Additionally, Gov. Herbert called on Utahns to observe Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and ask that all Utahns come together for a shared moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. to reflect on those who have died in service to the county.

Herbert stated:

While the ceremonies and our tributes to the fallen may look different this year due to coronavirus, our enduring respect and gratitude for their sacrifice remains unchanged.

To that end, I call upon all Utahns to observe this Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and ask that we all come together for a shared moment of silence at 3 p.m. to honor and reflect on those who died protecting our freedoms.

Jeanette and I join all Utahns in expressing our eternal gratitude for the sacrifices our Armed Forces members and their families make on behalf of our nation. Today, and every day, we honor and salute you.

Flags will be flown at half-staff at all state facilities and public grounds from sunrise until noon on Monday, before being raised to full-staff. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the customary forenoon period.

Utahns are asked to adhere to their local health and safety guidelines and maintain physical distancing while visiting cemeteries and war memorials during Memorial Day weekend. When possible, visitors are urged to consider visiting Friday, Saturday or Sunday to avoid possible crowds on Memorial Day.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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