With support from the city, Frisco Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8273 and the Frisco Garden Club are planning their annual Memorial Day ceremony May 25 to honor those who died serving the nation while also practicing social distancing.

In a press release announcing this year's event, VFW Post 8273 Memorial Day coordinator and Frisco City Council Member Tim Nelson said organizers were not sure as recently as two weeks ago whether the event would be able to take place. During the May 19 council meeting, Nelson said a lot of work went on behind the scenes to allow the ceremony to proceed.

“There’s no way this could have happened without a lot of cooperation with the city of Frisco,” Nelson said. “This isn’t actually a city event, but the city is instrumental in not only allowing this, but facilitating this event.”

The Memorial Day ceremony will be highest profile gathering in Frisco since the coronavirus pandemic began. Organizers are encouraging safety for those wishing to attend.

“Although we are sensitive to the current health situation, we felt it critical to move forward with this program to honor those men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country,” Shenna Lawless, commander of Frisco VFW Post 8273, said in a press release. “We will honor them on Memorial Day while practicing social distancing [and] providing disposable face masks and sanitation stations to those in attendance.”

The ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook and then made available on YouTube for those concerned they would be putting themselves at risk by attending in person, Nelson said.

The event will be held at 9 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Memorial within Frisco Commons Park, 8000 McKinney Road. Organizers are also encouraging event attendees to bring unexpired canned goods to donate to Frisco Family Services.

The ceremony will include a keynote address from retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Peasley and will feature Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney, the Frisco Community Band and the Frisco Chorale.

Peasley said he was honored to be asked to speak at the event.

“When it comes time for Memorial Day, you [honor] those who died, but this year, it seems like we need to also honor those who have stepped forward [to help amid coronavirus],” Peasley said. “A lot of people need to be recognized.”