ITHACA, N.Y. –– With some in-person ceremonies to celebrate Veterans this Memorial Day that happened throughout the morning, other options are still out there for people to observe the holiday while maintaining social distancing.

Wear Blue: Run to Remember is a running community that “honors the service and sacrifice of the American military.” They support military members and their families, veterans, Gold Star families, and civilians through “active remembrance and meaningful relationships.”

This year, the Ithaca chapters of Wear Blue and Team Red White and Blue (RWB) are honoring the 65,502 service members killed since the beginning of the Vietnam War, with a socially distant Memorial Day event run.

Participation is free of charge. Simply register online and commit to run or walk a meaningful number of miles, and you will be matched with the name of a fallen service member. 

This Memorial Day you can also join Warrior Writers for an evening of storytelling from veteran artists, featuring musicians and spoken word performers including U.S. Army Veteran and Tompkins County’s own Kevin Basl.

Warrior Writers’ mission is to create a culture that articulates veteran’s experiences, through artistic expression, with the hope of easing the difficult transition back into civilian life.

Their Memorial Day event aims to go beyond the “commercialized celebrations,” to remember that many veterans, family members, and friends are thinking of loved ones they’ve lost. According to the event description, “hearing stories from veterans on this day, and others, is a step towards understanding. Using art as language, we can help bridge the gap between veterans and civilians.”

This free performance starts at 8:00 p.m. on Zoom. Veteran artists featured are Jessi Atherton, Vainuupo Avegalio, Kevin Basl, Nickie Castro, Omar Columbus, Joy Damiani and Juanita Kirton.

Learn more and get tickets here.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com