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Observing Memorial Day in the Age of Coronavirus

On behalf of Anago’s military veteran founders, Master Franchisees and Unit Franchisees who have honorably served this nation, we remember the men and women who’ve protected our freedoms with their lives. The freedoms we admire and enjoy would not be possible without their bravery and selflessness.

Memorial Day in the age of COVID-19 doesn’t change the importance of this holiday. There are many ways to honor our fallen heroes while maintaining new social distancing regulations. The most important thing to remember is to respect all people. We are all in this together so please remember that your way may not be somebody else’s way, but we should all agree to respect each other’s space, boundaries, and choices of how to stay safe. Having freedom of choice and free will is what our fallen heroes fought to protect and ensure.

Traditionally, Americans honor our fallen heroes by visiting veteran gravesites to decorate and clean the headstones. This tradition dates back to the Civil War (1861-1865), when it was called Decoration Day, and was observed by decorating the gravesites of soldiers who died protecting this nation’s freedoms and rights afforded to us by the United States Constitution. Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday by an act of Congress in 1971 and includes the fallen from every American War.

If you choose to visit one of the many veteran cemeteries across our nation, please take a moment to check your local regulations. Many parts of the country are re-opening, and others are still under stay-at-home orders. This includes state veteran cemeteries, so check your area before you head out.

If you are able to visit the graves of our veteran heroes, here are some cleaning tips to consider:

  • First, please assess the gravestone. Every cleaning has the potential to damage the stone so please be careful and considerate. Do your homework on the material (granite, sandstone, marble, etc.) as each will have different methods and recommendations for cleaning.
  • Make sure you have the right materials such as non-ionic cleanser, mild soap, new sponges and clean water (you may have to bring a few gallons of water unless there is an accessible hose at the cemetery).
  • When you arrive at the gravestone, please check for damages. If you see signs of damage (cracks or flaking), please clean cautiously. Damage indicates that the stone is weakened, and improper cleaning can further threaten its integrity. Avoid putting pressure on the weakened areas.
  • Gently wipe down the surface starting from the bottom of the stone and work your way up. Once it is wiped, you can use a brush to gently scrub away dirt and grime from the surface. Remove growth such as Lichen (similar to fungi) and continue scrubbing. Lastly, make sure to completely rinse and dry when finished.

Finally, honor the soldier by decorating the area with fresh flowers, American flags or other patriotic keepsakes. If you so desire, consider ending with a short prayer (religious denomination of your choice) or positive thought.

From the Anago family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day.