Henry Williams runs from Douglas to the Mendenhall Valley on Memorial Day to honor dead service members, including his relative, Air Force Tech Sgt. Leslie Dominic Williams, who died in Afghanistan in 2011. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Henry Williams runs from Douglas to the Mendenhall Valley on Memorial Day to honor dead service members, including his relative, Air Force Tech Sgt. Leslie Dominic Williams, who died in Afghanistan in 2011. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

Memorial Day passes quietly amid coronavirus concerns, damp weather

People found their own ways to honor the hallowed dead.

Juneau residents passed Memorial Day quietly amid spotty weather and a lingering hesitation to congregate as the coronavirus continues to ravage the rest of the country.

Memorial Day, celebrated on the last Monday in May since 1970, is the federal holiday honoring the military’s dead, and marks the unofficial beginning of summer for many.

Juneau’s beaches and parks weren’t crowded, however, as cool temperatures and intermittent rain kept many away. Some still honored the dead in their own fashion.

“I’m running for all the members of the armed services who didn’t make it home,” said Henry Williams, who was running from Douglas to the Mendenhall Valley carrying a U.S. flag.

Williams said he ran for his relative, Air Force Tech Sgt. Leslie Dominic Williams, who died in Afghanistan in 2011.

Others, including veterans groups, held small ceremonies to honor the dead.

The American Legion held a small ceremony at Alaska Memorial Park, said Post Commander Tom Dawson in an email. Members of the Legion placed wreaths for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam veterans, Purple Heart recipients and from the Alaska State Legislature.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

Members of the American Legion Post in Juneau salute after laying wreaths in the Alaska Memorial Park on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. (Courtesy photo | Susan Clutton)

Members of the American Legion Post in Juneau salute after laying wreaths in the Alaska Memorial Park on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. (Courtesy photo | Susan Clutton)

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