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American Legion Scarlet Guard organizes rifle salute ahead of Memorial Day

Posted at 10:43 PM, May 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-24 23:43:33-04

APPLETON, Wis. (NBC 26) -- The Scarlet Guard has started a new tradition this Memorial Day Weekend.

After the city of Appleton cancelled their holiday parades due to COVID-19, the local color guard from American Legion Post 38 organized a processional with local veterans organizations to continue honoring the fallen.

"It's not something we've done here in the past, but I guarantee this will be a new tradition we do here on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend," Chairperson Eric Stadler said.

Stadler, also on the city's organizing committee for Memorial Day parades, heard from multiple community members who wanted to still honor the fallen.

"It's heartwarming. It proves that we can come up with new things," Stadler said. "We can make the best of a bad situation.'

Multiple veterans associations, motorcyclists, and Appleton Police organized a processional and visited multiple local cemeteries. They began at Riverside Cemetery, then visited Moses Montefiore Cemetery, Highland Memorial Park, and ended at St. Mary Cemetery.

Stadler felt that events like these remind locals why Memorial Day is a holiday in the first place.

"It's not a day about picnics. It's not a day about being together as a family and so on," Stadler said. "Those are very important things but what memorial day is really all about is honoring those that never got to take the uniform off."