CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) — Concerns about coronavirus and the governor’s order that people not gather kept many people away from gathering at Memorial Day services.

Some felt it was necessary to gather, despite the risk.

“It’s a shame this has come to this because of COVID-19,” said Stephany Sward from American Legion Post 637 in Citrus Heights.

Sward says she wasn’t happy about changes to their annual Memorial Day salute at Sylvan Cemetery. She was glad they still did it, though.

“It’s something to give back to people who didn’t come back,” she said.

Stephany Sward from American Legion Post 637 talks with people at the Memorial Day ceremony in Citrus Heights.

Many were missing in the crowd, which remained socially distant. There were no singing groups or a march around the cemetery.

“I couldn’t get enough people who wanted to march simply because of the problems,” Jim Monteton said.

One singer did show up to recognize each branch of the armed forces.

“It brings back some memories and I have to keep it in,” said Joe Busby, who got a little choked up.

Busby, an Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, was in town from Montana and stopped by.

“These veteran celebrations are very important to me. I lost a lot of friends in Vietnam,” he said.

That’s why other groups across our area did what they needed to do to honor the 3 million men and women who lost their lives fighting for this country.

In Loomis, that meant the first annual virtual Memorial Day observance. In Modesto, a man honored fallen heroes by putting up crosses in his front yard.

They’re staying the course and soldiering by lifting up fallen heroes by making a statement to the younger generation — especially this year.

“I hope it gives them a little oomph, that we are all Americans and that there are just some principles that are very important,” Sward said.

The Sacramento Valley National Cemetery was forced to close its annual Memorial Day ceremony.