While a new event is transpiring at American Legion Carl Boyd Post 42’s fairgrounds over Memorial Day weekend, a signature remembrance is being postponed.
“We have postponed the Memorial Day celebration due to the situation at hand,” Post 42 Commander Michael Schwartz said. “The vast majority of the membership of our post would be classified as the high risk group for the COVID. So we just can’t take a risk with that right now.
“… So we’re playing it very safe right now. Our plan right now is to post the names of those who have passed in the last year on our website.”
Normally presented near the Post’s flagpole, the Legion’s Memorial Day program in past years has featured a bell-ringing ceremony, honoring Bartow County’s deceased veterans.
“It’s going to leave a void, because at Post 42 we take great pride in celebrating our veterans and especially for Memorial Day for those who have passed on,” Schwartz said. “It’s going to be sad actually that we can’t render the honors like we normally do, but we are not going to forget because we are going to read their names at a later date.”
Schwartz said Post 42’s tentative plan is to read the names at its Veterans Day service in November.
“Everybody that I’ve spoken to from our post concerning this issue is in agreement that that would be an appropriate thing to do — to read their names at the Veterans Day service,” he said. “Yes, it would add a few minutes to the service, but it’s so worth it. We want to honor them.”
While Schwartz would rather attend the public observance, he still will reserve time to pay his respects privately. The Taylorsville resident served in the U.S. Navy from 1975 to 1998.
“I’m a very devout Christian, so I will probably be spending time reflecting,” he said. “There will be a list of the people who have passed in the last year, and I will be reading that list privately at home and spend time reflecting on how fortunate I am to live under the freedom that those people provided for me while they were serving our country in the military. I would do that every year whether it’s in public or in private.”
Even though the Legion’s observance will not occur on Memorial Day, one event currently is looking to draw area residents to Post 42’s fairgrounds, 525 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Cartersville.
Presented by Midway Munchies, the Fair Food drive-thru kicked off Friday and continues today through Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event offers a wide array of fair favorites, such as funnel cakes, chili cheese fries, corn dogs and lemonade.
“Due to the current situation, I thought it would be nice to hold a Fair Food drive-thru at the fairgrounds over Memorial weekend due to the restriction of not having events /festivals at this time,” said Kim Hallifax, owner of Midway Munchies. “So come to the fairgrounds and drive-thru — don’t need to get out of your car.”
For Schwartz, one of his “biggest joys” is seeing the public take part in activities at the American Legion’s property.
“I just hope that they exercise safe spacing, social spacing,” he said. “We love it. The members of the post love it when people can come and visit us.”
Looking forward, Schwartz is determined for the Legion’s purpose and services to persevere in spite of COVID-19.
“It’s been such a disruption to the normal way of life for not only the citizens of Bartow County,” he said, “but also for pretty much any organization that functions in the county.
“We are still going to continue with the programs that we have as soon as we are able to because our primary purpose in life is to serve our veterans, the families of our veterans, the spouses and children of our veterans in our community. And we’re going to continue doing that. A virus is not going to stop us from taking care of the veterans’ families.”