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Arkansas Memorial Day Event Smaller Due To Covid-19

Courtesy: Arkansas Governor Hutchinson Facebook

ARKANSAS  MEMORIAL SERVICE  -  While  many traditional  Memorial Day ceremonies  had  been canceled  across  the  nation  due  Covid-19  public safety concerns,  there was a smaller event that took place yesterday in Arkansas as Governor Asa Hutchinson took part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Arkansas State  Veterans  Cemetary  in  North  Little  Rock.   Although  the  service  was  not  open to the public, Governor Hutchinson made some remarks as the event was being streamed live on the internet. Hutchinson spoke of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the nation, comparing it to adversaries fought in past wars.

Credit Courtesy: Georgia Tech alumnus Andy McNeil
Courtesy: Georgia Tech alumnus Andy McNeil
102 YEARS AGO - Photo taken in 1918 at a Georgia Tech football game at Grant Field shows spectators wearing face coverings as the nation was experiencing a flu pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

"Today we face another enemy. It is a deadly virus, cannot be seen. It silently attacks and kills," Hutchinson said. "Almost 100,000 Americans have lost their lives within 100 days as a result of this new enemy. How do we respond? Well, we respond the same as Americans have responded for more than 200 years: with grit by calling upon the strength of the American character, and the resilience of the American spirit."

Credit Courtesy: Arkansas Governor Hutchinson YouTube
Courtesy: Arkansas Governor Hutchinson YouTube
Asa Hutchinson, Governor of Arkansas speaking at a Memorial Day Ceremony, North Little Rock - 05.25.20

Hutchinson  spoke of a how America faced  another pandemic, more than 100 years ago.  He talked about a photo he saw of  a  football  game in Atlanta, Georgia  taken in 1918, near the end of World War I. The Allies were close to a victory in Europe, but the nation was being devastated by the so-called  “Spanish flu pandemic”  which killed 675,000 Americans.

"In the stands you saw all of the fans wearing facecoverings and appropriately socially-distancing six feet apart," Hutchinson explained. "That was over 100 years ago. They reflected the spirit of our great country,  war in Europe and a deadly virus at home, yet life went on with common sense protections."

The Governor also expressed gratitude to the work being done by frontline medical professionals  and called upon  the  American Spirit which replaces  fear with action, common sense and compassion. 

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.