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As the pandemic eases, veterinarians return to the Memorial Day tradition –

Boston (AP) — Two veterans follow the winding path of Boston’s historic cemetery, looking for soldiers’ tombs and raising the American flag in front of them.

Many other veterans and volunteers, about 16 miles away, likewise have over 37,000 small flags in downtown Boston Common. The red, white, and blue seas symbolize all Massachusetts soldiers who died after the American Revolutionary War. This is an annual tradition that will return completely this year after being significantly reduced in 2020 due to a pandemic.

In Boston and elsewhere, COVID-19 restrictions have been completely lifted in many places, so this holiday weekend will be closer to Old Memorial Day.

Taking a break from the flag mission at Fairview Cemetery earlier this week, Army Reserve Veteran Craig Deold said, “This Memorial Day will feel different and better. “We sighed at relief for overcoming another hardship, but now this vacation can return to its original purpose: remembering a fallen companion. “

Throughout the country, Americans will be able to pay homage to the killed in action in ways that were not possible last year when virus restrictions were enforced in many places. It’s also time to recapture vaccination of reluctant people, remembering the tens of thousands of veterans who died in COVID-19.

Los Angeles veterans Art Delacruz, 53, is leading a coalition of veterans for vaccination, and his group is for vaccinated veterans to dispel myths and ease concerns. He said he encourages volunteering at vaccine sites. Active service member.

“We understand that it’s a personal choice, so we try to meet people where they are,” said Team Rubycon, a disaster response non-profit organization of veterans. Said Delacruz, who is also the representative of.

There is no definitive count of coronavirus deaths and vaccinations among US Veterans, but Veterans Affairs data show that more than 12,000 have died and about 9 million are enrolled in the institution’s program. It shows that more than 2.5 million of the veterans in the country have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Pandemic isolation is also particularly severe for veterans, many of whom rely on kinship with fellow military personnel to deal with wartime trauma, said the Navy Reserve in New York, who leads the advocacy group. Jeremy Butler, 47, says an American veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We are reunited now, but it was a very challenging year,” he said. “Breaking these connections, such as counseling sessions, VA appointments, and social events with other veterinarians, is very important for maintaining mental health.”

But for a family of veterans who survived the horrors of war, Memorial Day can reopen a barely healed wound just by being defeated by COVID-19.

Susan Kenny, western Massachusetts, said her 78-year-old father died of a virus in April last year, but is still alive.

Charles Lowell, an Air Force veteran who served during the Vietnam War, was one of the deadliest coronavirus outbreaks in the United States last year, with 76 Holyoke Soldiers Homes dying in long-term care facilities. Was one of the residents of. A memorial service was held at home earlier this week, and the names of the inhabitants who died this calendar year were read aloud.

Kenny, who has argued loudly about reforming troubled homes, will be held liable for federal and state agencies when senior state-owned institution officials are charged with criminal negligence and abuse. He says he still has questions about what to bear. Research.

“I’ve been reminded of the past year,” she said. “At every milestone. Veterans Day. His birthday. His death anniversary. Everything always reminds me of what happened. It’s very painful to think about.”

For other families, Memorial Day will continue to be a memorial day for loved ones who died in the war.

In Virginia, 74-year-old Vietnam War veterinarian Willie Lansam said his family would provide a modest service at the grave of his youngest son.

Air Force Major Charles Ransom was one of the eight American aviators killed in Afghanistan when an Afghan military pilot fired at Kabul Airport in 2011. ..

Powhatan residents say this year’s silver lining is ready to end the war that killed his 31-year-old son and more than 2,200 other American fighters. President Joe Biden has promised to end the country’s longest conflict by September 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.

“This is the best decision we can make,” Ransom said. “It’s becoming more Vietnamese. They don’t want us to be there. We should have left it many years ago.”

Returning to Boston, DeOld will think of his father, an Army veteran who was injured in a grenade attack in Vietnam.

Luis Deold returned home with a purple heart and became a New Jersey police officer, but the physical and mental injuries of the war continued long afterwards, his son said. Died at the age of 70.

On Memorial Day, DeOld will meet with fellow veterinarians at the VFW Post in the city’s Dochester district under his command.

They put a wreath in front of the American flag and then grill the burger behind. This will be the first major social event hosted by Post since the hall was virtually closed by a pandemic over a year ago.

“I hope it works,” said De Old. “I hope people will last. Family and friends get together. Good friends. What they should be.”

As the pandemic eases, veterinarians return to the Memorial Day tradition –

Source link As the pandemic eases, veterinarians return to the Memorial Day tradition –

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