Next Monday will still be the day to raise the flag and remember the nation’s war dead, but there won’t be an official ceremony this year.

Leaders of El Campo American Legion Post 251 unanimously decided to cancel the observance in light of the coronavirus pandemic’s danger.

“Our members are 75 years of age on average. I’m not putting their lives in danger,” Commander Daniel Falcon told the newspaper Monday.

Traditionally, the El Campo Craig-Harriss post on Armory Road plays host to a Memorial Day observance, including all local Armed Forces service organizations along with their auxiliaries and the local Elks Lodge. The ceremony includes the laying of flowers on a ceremonial headstone as well as a roll call of veterans who have died in the last year.

The Legion’s list includes career soldiers as well as those who volunteered for a single enlistment and draftees. All service is honored whether it was done decades before a veteran’s death, just a few years or the individual was killed in action.

The 2020 Memorial Day last call will be released this week.

Legionnaires will be posting flags on the Legion grounds this weekend to honor the fallen as well.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Monday’s holiday finds its roots in the years following the war between the states. It became a national holiday in 1971.

The holiday’s purpose is to honor Armed Forces members who gave their lives for the nation. Now, however, it also marks the start of the summer season, generally observed with a barbecue.

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