Despite closures, metro residents find ways to take part in Memorial Day traditions

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People in the metro aren’t letting COVID-19 stop them from participating in Memorial Day traditions.

“It has been said that together we are stronger, but we have a new enemy in COVID-19,” Michael House said at a virtual Memorial Day ceremony hosted by the World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

So this Memorial Day, some Kansas Citians stood together, apart, to honor the fallen.

While most events to honor military sacrifices were changed or cancelled altogether because of coronavirus concerns, it didn’t affect everyone’s holiday plans.

From the steps below Liberty Memorial to an Olathe neighborhood, the bugles played out the solemn tones of TAPS. 

“Honoring veterans who’ve given all is important to those of us who play TAPS to do it live,” Jerry Kolb said in front of his home. 

With most public events cancelled, Kolb joined other buglers around the nation playing TAPS at exactly 3 p.m.

He planned to be by himself, but ended up with an audience. 

“Every holiday we put American flags out. We line the streets with them. When we found out Jerry was participating in this today we all wanted to come out and be a part of it,” neighbor Steve Cox said.

Just because remembrance ceremonies moved to online, doesn’t mean people didn’t remember the sacrifice each time the bell tolled.

“At the going down of the sun and the morning we will remember them,” one speaker said at a different ceremony at Liberty Memorial. 

While honoring their sacrifice, others celebrated what they gave their lives for–freedom. 

People who enjoyed some holiday fun at Loose Park say they felt comfortable everyone was following social distancing guidelines. 

“I’ve been throwing frisbee here since I was 10 years old and I’m still throwing frisbee here,” Shawn Johnston said. “You can look around and see the whole park and everyone is in their little section just enjoying everything.”

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