Wearing face masks to reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus, soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment, also called the "Old Guard," place U.S. flags in front of every grave site ahead of the Memorial Day weekend in Arlington National Cemetery on May 21, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. Traditionally known as "Flags-In," soldiers place small flags in front of more than 228,000 headstones and at the bottom of about 7,000 niche rows in the cemetery's Columbarium Courts and Niche Wall.
Rituals at Arlington National Cemetery during coronavirus
02:30 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Boston’s Memorial Day observance was smaller this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the display was still just as powerful.

Volunteers worked overnight to place 1,000 American flags on the Boston Common – each one was six feet apart to encourage social distancing.

Traditionally, the area would be packed with 37,309 flags representing the Massachusetts men and women who have died serving the United States since the Revolutionary War.

The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, which has organized the display for ten years, decided earlier this month that it would not be safe to put out that many flags because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The group urged people to fly flags at home, or print one out and display it in their window to create a virtual flag garden.

“Together, we can send a powerful message of support to bereaved military families that even in difficult times, we remember and honor our fallen heroes,” Diane Nealon the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker visited the display on Monday and called it a “powerful tribute to the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country, and to their families,” in a post on Twitter.

“While the dedication looked much different this year, the commitment to honoring and remembering remains,” the tweet said.