Happy (quarantined) Memorial Day

Clouds drift by as the flags fly over the Veterans Memorial at Eternal Valley Memorial Park Mortuary in Newhall on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal
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While many Memorial Day events have been canceled as many of the stay-at-home restrictions remain in place, there are still a number of things you can do to celebrate the holiday while still following public health guidelines. 

As a holiday weekend that traditionally marks the unofficial start of summer and is filled with large gatherings, cookouts and weekend getaways, things are sure to look a bit different this year.

Even so, here are some ideas that you and your quarantine crew can do to celebrate. 

Have a mini cookout

While large gatherings still aren’t allowed, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a feast for you and your immediate family. 

You can still enjoy the art of grilling and the taste of the food, though you may be a few guests short. So, marinate that meat and fire up the grill.

Though you can’t have everyone over for the usual lawn games, you certainly can do so with the kids, or you can even set up a video chat with those you’d normally be spending the holiday with and challenge them to a virtual game of cornhole. 

Flags placed by the Boy Scouts waive in the wind as they mark the headstones of fallen servicemembers at Eternal Valley Memorial Park on Memorial Day 2015. KATHARINE LOTZE/Signal

Bring the vacation to your living room

If you aren’t much for barbecuing, instead, order some food from your favorite restaurant, many of which are offering meal deals that include their signature margaritas and cocktails, such as La Cocina, Alamo Restaurant or The Backyard Grub N’ Brews for those who prefer beer.

Though it may not be the beach getaway you were hoping for, it will still taste pretty great. Just put on some ocean sounds and close your eyes. 

Get outside

Just because there’s no parade or event to attend doesn’t mean you can’t get outside and enjoy the warm weather. 

So, pack a picnic and get out to the park or take a hike on one of the newly reopened trails. 

Castaic Lake has also reopened for boating and shoreline fishing, while walking, running or biking on the swim beach and walking paths is also permitted — as long as physical distancing is maintained everywhere.

Mark Sears, a staff member with the Young Marines, salutes a wreath laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during a reenactment of the changing of the guard and laying of the wreath during the Memorial Day Tribute at Eternal Valley Memorial Park on Monday. KATHARINE LOTZE/Signal. 05252015

Honor veterans

Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have served and are no longer with us, so take some time to honor the veterans in your life.

Many cemeteries, including Eternal Valley, have reopened to visitors, so go visit your loved ones’ graves — just be sure to abide by physical distancing guidelines and wear a face covering.

If you can’t visit, then find another way to honor them. Drink their favorite beer, make their favorite meal, watch their favorite movie or listen to their favorite songs.

And, while it isn’t Veterans Day, it wouldn’t hurt to honor the veterans in your life who are still alive by giving them a call to let them know you’re thinking of them. 

Tune in to a virtual Memorial Day ceremony

Every year, Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary hosts its traditional Memorial Day ceremony, which due to “Safer at Home” orders has been canceled. 

Even so, the Santa Clarita Valley’s Memorial Day Committee has decided to find a way to keep the celebration alive with a virtual event.

While the public will not be invited to attend, organizers will honor those who have fallen in a small ceremony that the public will be able to tune into virtually later that day.

Newly elected Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, is expected to speak during the ceremony, while Trinity Classical Academy students are set to read the names of the veterans on Eternal Valley’s memorial wall. 

The Ronald Reagan Marine Corps League of Simi Valley gives a rifle salute at the end of the Memorial Day ceremonies at Eternal Valley on Memorial Day. KATHARINE LOTZE/Signal.

Though usually performed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the annual National Memorial Day Concert is going virtual for the first time in 30 years.

Hosts Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise are set to host the special, 90-minute broadcast, with “Hamilton” star Christopher Jackson singing the national anthem, followed by remote performances from Cynthia Erivo, Trace Adkins, Renee Fleming, CeCe Winans, Kelli O’Hara, Mary McCormack and the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as videos of past performances. 

In addition, viewers can expect to see many of the military tributes, including the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters and the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants among others, paying tribute to their fallen comrades. 

Eternal Valley’s Memorial Day Ceremony is scheduled to air 6 p.m. on Monday. The ceremony can be seen on scvnews.com or on SCVTV’s local television channel via Spectrum Cable’s Channel 20 and AT&T’s Channel 99.

The National Memorial Day Concert is scheduled to air 8 p.m. Sunday on PBS. For more information, visit pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert.

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