#CandlesofHonor: Honoring service members on Memorial Day during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 9:28 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-25 22:36:53-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop communities from honoring the men and women who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

On Memorial Day, the American Legion honored veterans in a unique way while keeping their message and mission strong.

American Legion Braxton-Perkins Post 25 member Dale Presley paid tribute to fellow veterans, lighting three candles on his front porch in Newport News.

“Keep the fires burning, the home fires burning,” Presley said. “That's a way of showing we're there for them.”

Memorial Day this year is different due to COVID-19, but the mission remains the same.

“While we're social distancing, we still keep everybody in our hearts and minds,” Presley said.

The American Legion called on people to light candles of honor and place them on front porches. They also asked people to share photos of the candles on social media, using the hashtag #candlesofhonor.

According to the American Legion, each candle's color has a different meaning. Red candles signify blood shed in battle, white candles honor prisoners of war and those missing in action and blue candles remember those who made it home but are no longer with us.

Monday, Sean Devlin and others with American Legion Braxton-Perkins Post 25 held a virtual ceremony in Newport News and took part in lighting candles.

“We can't let that one little situation die of not recognizing the sacrifices of our service members,” Devlin said. “We owe to our future generations to try to make them understand why and how they got where they are and why they can do what they do today.”

Lighting flames for the fallen, honoring those making the ultimate sacrifice.

“If something gets in our way and keeps us from doing what we originally set out to do and have been doing for the past 100 years, we'll fall back on the candles,” Presley told News 3. “We'll bring out a new way of showing people that we still care and we love them.”

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.