Last week, the municipality canceled all of the official Memorial Day ceremonies because of the coronavirus emergency. The official event at Fort Richardson National Cemetery was also canceled this year. But that didn’t stop over 400 people from gathering at the Anchorage Veterans Memorial on the Anchorage park strip Monday to observe Memorial Day.

Air Force veteran Louise Williams salutes the flag at the Anchorage Veterans Memorial on Delaney Park Strip on Monday, May 25, 2020 during a Memorial Day observance. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
People gather at the Anchorage Veterans Memorial on Delaney Park Strip on Monday, May 25, 2020 for a Memorial Day observance. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

The event was billed as non-partisan, and elected officials from both sides of the aisle were in attendance, some to lay wreaths at the memorial.

State Rep. Laddie Shaw, R-Anchorage, places a wreath at the Anchorage Veterans Memorial on Delaney Park Strip on Monday, May 25, 2020 during a Memorial Day observance. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
People gather at the Anchorage Veterans Memorial on Delaney Park Strip on Monday, May 25, 2020 for a Memorial Day observance. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
Alaska Vets Motorcycle Club salute the Fallen Warrior statue at the Anchorage Veterans Memorial on Delaney Park Strip on Monday, May 25, 2020 during a Memorial Day observance. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

The event began with a motorcycle parade of around 30 bikes, and included singers, a bagpiper and speeches. The crowd cheered when emcee Bernadette Wilson announced that Mayor Ethan Berkowitz would not attend. It concluded with the sound of taps played by Matthew Rodriguez, an active duty soldier who was participating on his own and not in any official capacity.

Matthew Rodriguez plays taps at the Anchorage Veterans Memorial on Delaney Park Strip on Monday, May 25, 2020 during a Memorial Day observance. Rodriguez is an active duty member of the U.S. Army, but was attending on his own and not in any official capacity. (Loren Holmes / ADN)


[Because of a high volume of comments requiring moderation, we are temporarily disabling comments on many of our articles so editors can focus on the coronavirus crisis and other coverage. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if you’d like to communicate with us about a particular article. Thanks.]