Murfreesboro's "Healing Field" goes virtual this Memorial Day

Posted at 6:46 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 06:57:25-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — COVID-19 has changed a lot about how Americans are commemorating Memorial Day this year. In Murfreesboro, a popular remembrance site is adapting to keep everyone safe.

"The Healing Field" has transitioned online this year. What would normally be a giant field filled with several hundred American flags denoting a loved one lost during war, was turned into a 20-minute video presentation for people to view and share online.

"This looks a lot different than memorial days in the past," said Gayle Passovoy with the Noon Exchange Club, which organizes the healing field every year.

But for Passovoy and countless others around Tennessee, while the format has changed, the reason for the remembrance on Memorial Day remains the same. Her cousin, Steven Richards, a former Drill Instructor in the Marines, died in October.

"This year, it means a lot," Passovoy said. "More than I ever thought, to be involved in this club and this event."

Richards' memory lives on in the lives of his family, including three of his grandsons who made the trip to his gravesite this weekend from Ohio.

Passovoy says it's proof that while the flags may be gone from the Healing Field this year, the field of green where they are usually placed is as red, white and blue as ever.