FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Hundreds of people gathered in-person for a Memorial Day ceremony Monday morning in Fernandina Beach.
The city decided to go on with the service at the downtown Veteran’s Memorial Monument despite coronavirus concerns.
“I was so encouraged to see so many people show up for it,” said Alexandra Lajoux, who waved her flag at the ceremony organized by the Marine Corp League.
Lajoux said, even during the pandemic, she wouldn’t let Memorial Day go unnoticed.
“Well, they didn’t stay home. They went and fight for us,” Lajoux said. “They’re fighting today. They’re fighting terrorism. They’re laying down their lives for us. The least I could do was show up today.”
Names were read aloud during the service as attendees filled Centre Street. They told News4Jax it was important to be united despite what’s happening around the world.
“People were very respective of social distancing and they wore masks if they wanted to," said Barb Kent, who retired from the U.S. Navy. "But it’s important to recognize the service of people who have gone before us and kept our country strong.”
Those in attendance sang songs and watched the laying of a wreath on the river, continuing the Memorial Day traditions in the city.
“This is Fernandina, and we are a pretty patriotic town, and there’s a lot of veterans here,” Kent said. “But it’s a very important service and ceremony and day to remember.”