Memorial Day

Bay Area Memorial Day Ceremonies Go Virtual Due to Pandemic

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Throughout the Bay Area, Memorial Day ceremonies moved online Monday since large gatherings are still not allowed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But going virtual did not lessen the emotion or the impact.

Los Gatos Memorial Park is used to inviting hundreds of guests to its Memorial Day remembrance event, but only a handful of people were allowed to attend this year’s event.

The rest watched from their computers or phones.

“It was something that must take place and we could find a way that was safe, even to and including our staff making patriotic masks for all of our guests to don today," Nicholas Welzenbach with Los Gatos Memorial Park said.

With big public Memorial Day ceremonies canceled due to coronavirus, families had their own smaller emotional tributes for loved ones who served. Jean Elle reports.

Many people still visited the park and held their own private conversations with loved ones, including those who went off to war but never returned, like Army Sgt. Adam Estep. He was killed 16 years ago by a rocket propelled grenade outside Baghdad, Iraq.

“We have the freedoms that we have because somebody got up and said, ‘I will protect you,’ and sometimes in the protection we lose those loved ones such as my son,” Kenneth Estep said.

Kenneth Estep has heard the patriotic sounds of Taps hundreds of times. It never gets easier for him.

"Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Adam in one way or another," he said.

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