Veteran reflects on Memorial Day during pandemic

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Memorial Day is usually a time for the community to gather and remember those whose lives have been lost serving our country, but in the middle of a pandemic, remembering our fallen may look different.

For Scott Suchomski, after serving 20 years in the Army, Memorial Day is usually a day of service and reflection.

“I spent two years in Iraq, actually, two tours. You see a little bit of everything over there. For the rest of the day, we’ll just take the time to remember as far as friends and people that I knew that have paid the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate price. It’s a time to reflect as far as what the true meaning of memorial day is,” Suchomski said.

During a pandemic, normal commemoration activities can be difficult, but this time of quarantine and social distance can give spectators time to reflect on those who have given their lives for this country.

Since his retirement in 2017, Suchomski has given his time back to organizations that honor our veterans.

As president of the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association, Suchomski started his day at the the reading of the names ceremony at World’s Fair Park.

Although COVID-19 made this year much different from previous years, Suchomski says having community support, even from afar, is what counts.

“It’s just a tremendous opportunity for me personally to be part of the ETVMA and its also just always very reassuring seeing the community come back out, not necessarily physically, but we know that they’re there,” Suchomski said.

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