State leaders, ND National Guard hold virtual Memorial Day service at state Veteran Cemetery

Published: May. 25, 2020 at 6:51 PM CDT
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Memorial Day is a time to reflect and remember those who can't be with us, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. This year, many of us have to show out gratitude differently than we have in the past.

The North Dakota National Guard is making sure to honor those who gave it all for their country.

About 2,000 soldiers from all branches of the military rest together. Normally, they'd be joined on this sacred day by a crowd of loved ones. But on Monday, only members of the north Dakota National Guard stand watch, with a few honored guests, at the state Veterans Cemetery.

"The fight for freedom never ends and we must always remember and never forget those people that gave their lives for out country," said Gov. Doug Burgum (ND-R)

This Memorial Day the American Flag flies differently as men and woman are fighting an invisible enemy, COVID-19.

For the first time in history, state leaders along with current and retired members of the military shared their messages of hope and freedom, to a virtual crowd.

"North Dakota is a very patriotic state. Bismarck-Mandan area is obviously very patriotic as well. So there's always been a lot of support for the military," said retired Major, Arnie Strebe.

One salute from the National Guard used a World War One era cannon.

State leaders said a traditional memorial day service will be back next year.

According to a guard spokesperson, more than 3,000 people tuned into the live stream. They said the Guard might have another live broadcast next year, along with in-person services.

The full video can be viewed on the link attached to the right of this story.