Commentary: A Memorial Day changed by the coronavirus still offers plenty to do


Memorial Day Weekend has always been the official beginning of summer and that is something that will not change. Summer has not been cancelled. Really.

Although the parades and ceremonies won’t be happening because of COVID-19, the traditional visits to cemeteries and the decorating of graves will still go on as they have since the end of the Civil War.

One thing for sure, social distancing is easy to maintain in a cemetery.

This just might be the perfect time to go to the cemetery as a family. Take the kids for a walk and point out the graves of great grandparents, and other relatives we don’t ordinarily visit. It’s a good time for the telling of family stories and the explanation of some of the distant ties we have with others in the community.

MORE FROM PAM COTTREL: Stores may be reopening, but science background urges caution

It would also be quite appropriate to walk by the Civil War memorial or other veteran commemoration and silently pay your respects or leave a flower. A formal ceremony is not required to do this. We should never forget those who fought for our freedom.

Another Memorial Day custom that has not changed is the placing of flags on the graves of veterans.

In Bethel Township and New Carlisle American flags were placed on veteran’s graves by The American Legion Post 286, VFW 9966, Boy Scout Troop 27, and the Suther family. Glen Haven takes care of its own flags.

In Enon and Mad River Township, Cub Scouts Pack 36 were scheduled to place flags on Wednesday, according to Kimberly Haflett Grandinette and Amanda Kopp Crowe.

While our calendars may look rather empty for this weekend, some good things are going on with many of our restaurants opening again under some new rules. Outside dining, which was allowed starting last weekend, will be enjoyable if the weather cooperates. I hope it does.

However the weather works out, please remember to support local businesses. We’ve got to help them get back to normal.

It has been fascinating watching how local businesses have adapted to the state guidelines and are still catering to our taste buds.

Young’s Dairy has created a very efficient drive through as we knew they would. Copey’s has a convenient pick up door for telephone orders for cautious shoppers like me and they limit the number of shoppers at one time. Panda Garden is open again for takeout. Arrow Queen is keeping that line properly spaced. And Wot A Dog, well, Wot A Dog was made for times like this.

MORE FROM PAM COTTREL: Stop complaining about steps taken to slow spread of the coronavirus

New events are popping up.

On Saturdays and Wednesdays there’s a food truck rally at the DeVore Building, 341 East Main Street in Enon. Each event has one or two trucks. And it is adding to the community spirit. Last I checked folks are being careful about distancing and masks and there was lots of laughter.

Also happening this weekend is the placement of the feather flags in Enon’s Settler’s Park honoring Greenon 2020 graduates. Should be interesting to see.

I want to wish the 2020 grads of Tecumseh, Greenon, and other local high schools and colleges all the happiness and success they can handle. We’re sorry graduation was crazy, but we know you won’t let that stop you from taking over the world.

One last bit of breaking news, the New Carlisle City Council voted Monday evening to open the New Carlisle Swimming Pool as soon as it can be readied.

And so as you see, the Pandemic Grinch could not stop summer from coming after all.

Have a healthy safe Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully the rain will stop by then. Get out, get some sun and smile.

In Other News