Letter —A time to reflect and show respect

To the editor:

On April 6, the administration announced Trumbull’s Memorial Day Parade was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the first selectman said, “Trumbull Town Hall plans to host a wreath laying ceremony to honor our fallen heroes this fall, providing it is safe to do so. Memorial Day is for remembering, honoring, and mourning the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.”

I wholeheartedly agree with the decision to cancel this year’s parade for the reasons cited. I am, however, extremely disappointed that the decision was made to, in effect, cancel any public remembrance on Memorial Day.

For those who made the ultimate sacrifice remembering their loss should not be an arbitrary date in the fall, but on Memorial Day, the federal holiday for honoring and mourning the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

How important is this day on the nation’s collective calendar? The Army’s 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment continues to stand guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, even though Arlington National Cemetery is closed because of the novel coronavirus.

“For us, it doesn’t matter if it’s a hurricane, or if it’s the coronavirus. We are always here, we are always guarding,” said Cpt. Harold Earls”.

It is important for our children and community to know we haven’t forgotten our fallen soldiers. No matter where or when on the field of battle our armed forces served and fell, they didn’t hesitate, they did it, just as the soldiers guarding the Tomb in Arlington continue their stately and respectful march, back and forth, regardless of crisis.

I am respectfully calling on the administration to plan a meaningful remembrance on Memorial Day to include:

1. A small, socially distanced gathering on the Town Hall Green Memorial Day morning, to include the first selectman and a representative of the VFW and American Legion to lay a single wreath in memory of our fallen servicemembers.

2. A reading by each to recall the memory of the brave men and women who gave their lives in service of our nation.

3. A Facebook Live feed of this program so residents can observe the occasion.

4. Town-wide communication of this event to encourage family discussion of the meaning of this important day.

5. Encouragement of residents to prominently display our nations flag or other red, white and blue décor.

We live in a day and time of uncertainty, but we can be creative in our thinking. We can remember our fallen heroes while we adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

Let’s not allow fear to serve as a paralysis from the calendar of important dates. It is marked by the solemnity shown by the soldier who marches methodically back and forth in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. The soldier who does so emotionless, but no doubt filled with emotion.

Let’s do our part on Memorial Day to remember. We owe their souls that small, yet meaningful and important thought.

Mark Block, District 3

Trumbull Republicans