In some places, scaled-down ceremonies were broadcast over the internet, as shutdowns to curb the spread of the virus put a damper on what is usually a day of flag-waving parades and crowds celebrating the unofficial start of the U.S. summer.
Spots that would be bustling on a normal Memorial holiday had noticeably thinner crowds.
Perhaps half of those gathered at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington wore face coverings, recommended as one way to fight infection. Only about one in 10 did so on the boardwalk by the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey.
With casinos closed, nearby Atlantic City was quiet.
Richard Burke, who bought a balloon-popping amusement stand on the boardwalk only a few weeks before the shutdown, was asking customers to use the hand sanitizer he had provided.
“As long as we protect ourselves I think we are OK,” Burke said.
All 50 states have relaxed coronavirus restrictions to some degree.
Health authorities in California, which has one of the most restrictive coronavirus containment rules in the country, announced on Monday that retail with in-store shopping and places of worship may now open.
In Fort Walton Beach, Florida, a small group of veterans in uniform gathered in Beal Memorial Cemetery to recite the names of the dead and weave flowers into a wreath in a ceremony that was streamed online. Some of the attendees shook hands with each other and few, if any, wore masks.
“Instead of parades or large memorial events, we can remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in a more private way,” Colonel John Sannes, the commander of the U.S. Army’s 7