Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

San Diego’s National Cemeteries Start Returning To Normal This Memorial Day

Mourners return to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery to honor the dead on Memo...

Photo by Steve Walsh

Above: Mourners return to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery to honor the dead on Memorial Day, May 31, 2021.

With two national cemeteries, San Diego has long been a focus of those remembering the fallen. Those cemeteries were again open to the public Monday as things slowly return to normal.

Jay Nash is a former Marine. His dad was in the Navy.

Listen to this story by Steve Walsh

“I’m here just to show my daughter what this day is all about,” Nash said.

Nash’s dad died before the COVID-19 outbreak and is buried on the east coast. After a year of isolation, coming out to Fort Rosecrans was a chance for the generations to connect.

“We all took a step back to appreciate one of the things we lost in the COVID and this is one of them,” he said.

Last year on Memorial Day, the Fort Rosecrans and Miramar National Cemeteries were closed to the public. Ceremonies, including funerals, were severely restricted. This year the restrictions were removed too late to plan the normal remembrances, according to Cemetery Director Grata Hamilton.

“We placed a wreath in a private ceremony at Miramar and at Fort Rosecrans in honor of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” she said.

RELATED: San Diego’s National Cemeteries Honor Fallen Service Members On Memorial Day

The national cemeteries also held a virtual Memorial Day ceremony online Monday.

Burials continued throughout the pandemic. Loved ones were given the option to hold a ceremony after the restrictions were lifted, so attendance is expected to increase in the coming months. Parking was limited at Fort Rosecrans, as people went from grave site to grave site, looking for their loved ones.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Steve Walsh

Steve Walsh
Military Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover military and veterans issues for KPBS and American Homefront, a partnership of public radio stations and NPR. I cover issues ranging from delpoying troops along the California border to efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.