Observing Memorial Day in Coastal Ga. during a pandemic

Fort Stewart to honor the fallen with virtual Memorial Day ceremony

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Memorial Day is the first holiday since Georgia and South Carolina started easing their Coronavirus restrictions. It’s also the unofficial kick-off to summer, which means thousands of people are flocking to the beach.

On Tybee Island, WTOC spoke with beachgoers who said the huge crowds made it hard to keep up social distancing. But for the most part, they say most people stayed to themselves and in their own groups.

Lifeguards say this has been a tough weekend for them as they just began their summer season last week. With such large crowds, they've been busy making sure everyone is following the rules.

First responders did offer some important advice for families at the beach.

"If you're coming out here to the beach with your kids, make sure you keep an eye on your kids. It's really easy with these big crowds for one of your kids to get even 50 feet from you," said Matt Harrell, Interim Fire Chief, Tybee Island Fire Department.

Georgia DNR officers are also patrolling our beaches. They say there hasn’t been any major issues but encourage anyone worried about crowds to avoid the beach.

During a normal year, Memorial Day would also be full of services honoring those who served, but most plans had to be called off due to the current health crisis.

One event that’s still happening in Savannah is at Bonaventure Cemetery. It will be an abbreviated ceremony starting at 10 a.m. Monday morning. Congressman Buddy Carter and others will be on hand to give a brief salute.

The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth will also be up and running on Memorial Day. They’ve been been been working hard to meet state guidelines and say they are ready to welcome visitors.

The 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart is also holding a ceremony Monday morning, but it will only be available to view online on the 3rd ID Facebook here.

3rd ID Memorial Day event.
3rd ID Memorial Day event. (Source: Fort Stewart/3rd ID)

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