Memorial Day ceremony honors fallen soldiers, front line workers during pandemic |

Memorial Day ceremony honors fallen soldiers, front line workers during pandemic

American Legion Granby-Grand County Post 88 honored the approximately one million US soldiers who have died serving their country in a special Memorial Day ceremony that also highlighted the service of the front line workers for the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, American Legion Post 88 held a Memorial Day Honor Guard Ceremony at Nursie’s Flag Pole in Grand Lake. A live stream of the event was shared on Facebook to encourage people to watch the ceremony from home.

While some of the annual ceremony had to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including members of American Legion Post 88 wearing masks and distancing, the tradition of hosting the event at Nursie’s Flag Pole held extra significance this year.

Lt. Col. Jim Reeman shared the store of Nursie, also known as Lt. Dorothy Young, an Army nurse who served during Pearl Harbor and saved numerous soldiers by marking them with red lipstick on the forehead after they received morphine so that they wouldn’t be given too much. 

After Pearl Harbor, Young moved to Grand Lake where she ran the Kickapoo Lodge and acted as the school nurse. Upon her death in 2000, Young donated her flag that had flown over the USS Arizona memorial on the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor to the town of Grand Lake, which is now used in the Memorial Day ceremony.

Reeman drew a parallel between the bravery and dedication of Young to the front line workers of the pandemic.

“During the recent coronavirus pandemic, the most visible heroes are the healthcare workers and essential workers who are saving others and risking their own lives while doing so,” he said. “These heroes have much in common with the people we honor today – America’s fallen veterans. They are men and women who would sacrifice their own lives for others to live.”

Members of American Legion Post 88 also honored local fallen soldiers by ringing a bell. The ceremony included a prayer for those who died in service and a moment of silence in remembrance of their sacrifice.

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