Driving past the Missouri Veteran’s Home and seeing an American flag placed on each tombstone is a reminder that Memorial Day is one of the greatest American holidays; a day in which we honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It’s also a three-day weekend that officially kicks off the summer season, traditionally including parades, family barbeques, and other social gatherings. Although the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way our country celebrates many special days; it is still possible to remember and honor generations who gave their lives for our nation’s freedom.
This Memorial Day is unlike any in recent times and yet it also seems more relatable in how we honor those who gave so much in service to others. I hope you are able to take some time to remember and express your gratitude to all the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country. That includes our own family members, friends, and ancestors who served our nation. During this time, it is also important to remember all those who have died from COVID-19 and we thank all the heroes who continue to serve on the front lines during the pandemic. May their commitment continue to inspire us as citizens to serve in ways we can; and to always extend our appreciation to those who selflessly protect and care for others.
Whether it be this Memorial Day weekend or any weekend, I encourage our community to support our local businesses. Most have reopened with some restrictions and we are hopeful they will be able to continue to remove more restrictions in the coming weeks. Your local purchases can do much to help revitalize our community. These businesses are often the first and most generous supporters of many of our St. James R-I School District programs.
As a reminder, graduation has been set for Friday, June 26 at 7pm at the football field. The outdoor graduation will allow for a more safeguarded setting for all in attendance. Should we not have an all-clear to host a large, public event by this date, we will continue to move the date of graduation back one week at a time. If an all-clear is not likely as we near August, we will move to a very restricted ceremony.
In the spirit of Memorial Day and patriotism, I remind our community of the importance of voting in the upcoming municipal election… next Tuesday, June 2. Voters who have attained the age of 18 by April 7 will be allowed to cast a ballot.