Fairhaven Cemetery, normally a hub of ceremony and contemplation on Memorial Day, heeded social distancing this year with a car tour, small groups at gravesides and the expected array of flags.  Despite the absence of a formal program, attendance was brisk, with visitors afoot and in vehicles.


Doug Scheid wandered the grounds filling the air with the sounds of bagpipe melancholy. An Army veteran, Scheid is a pipe major for the Queen Mary Pipe Band.


Bear Sanchez burst into a spontaneous rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” singing to an audience of three. Sanchez says he has long participated in Fairhaven’s Memorial Day ceremony as an emcee, director and vocalist.  He couldn’t take this year off, he explained, so came on his own to commemorate the day.


Visitors were treated to patriotic and informative displays along a proscribed auto tour route.  A docent was at each stop to help direct traffic, answer questions and provide bottled water to thirsty participants.


Friends and families paid their respects in their own quiet way.  No bands, no speeches, no color guards.

Photos by Tony Richards

Memorial Day commemorated with quiet observance

June 2020