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For those in southwest Volusia, there was no great traditional gathering of hundreds at Deltona Memorial Gardens cemetery this year.

No difficulty finding a place to park. No one struggling to keep cool as the humidity compounds the heat, while Boy Scouts and others hand out bottles of cold water.

No singing of patriotic songs.

No prayers and speeches extolling the virtues of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for American liberty and those who served in the armed forces honorably, but who have since passed.

No earsplitting crack of rifles fired in salute of the fallen. No mournful sounding of taps.

And no loud send-off from motorcycle veterans, as they make a mini-Rolling Thunder parade.

All that was missing in action this year, as the coronavirus pandemic prompted the cancellation of the Memorial Day observance that usually draws hundreds of families and friends of those honored dead.

The demand for social distancing runs counter to the human need to touch and be close to others — even strangers — in the greater extended American family at such a time as Memorial Day.

Maybe next year, but not this year. Usually, too, the holiday is sunny or partly sunny. Memorial Day this year was cloudy and rainy.

In any event, Memorial Day did not cease altogether, as these photos demonstrate.

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