"I am still dealing with the fact that we won't be able to go to Golden Gate National Cemetery and we won't be having the usual services that we have and friends and family can't go visit my son," said Graves.
His son, Army Specialist Joseph Graves, was killed in July of 2006 when his unit was ambushed during an escort mission in Iraq.
"Memorial Day is the one day of the year that is designated specifically for honoring our fallen heroes," said Graves, who finds comfort in Memorial Day ceremonies.
Like Graves, many families are lamenting the cancellation of Memorial Day commemorations in the Bay Area this year.
While families will still be able to go to cemeteries to visit loved ones, organized events won't be happening this year to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus.
That bothered James Brown, so he decided to do something about it. Brown is the president of the Wine Country Marines, based in Sonoma. He started making calls and was able to organize a simulation of the typical Memorial Day ceremony at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose. He reached out to ABC7 to record it so the public can watch it at on television at home.
RELATED: Bay Area residents react to first COVID-19 Memorial Day weekend
The ceremony included participants from all over the Bay Area. The color guard came from the Marine Corps recruiting station in San Francisco. The 21 gun salute was done by the 23rd Marine Corps Regiment from San Bruno. The band came from Travis Air Force Base and performed a medley of Armed Forces music while maintaining social distancing.
Kenneth and Carrie Estep were among several Gold Star families that took part in the recreation.
Their eldest son, Adam Wayne Estep, died in April of 2004 in Sadr City, Iraq during a battle now remembered as Black Sunday, in which eight U.S. service members were killed and more than 60 others were wounded. It was the largest one day casualty count for the U.S. military since Vietnam. Memorial Day has had a special significance for them since then.
"It means an opportunity to have our son recognized for the great sacrifice that he did," said Kenneth Estep. "It gives us as a nation a chance to commune together, to honor our veterans and to honor our family members."
Watch the video above to see the simulated ceremony of Memorial Day 2020. Watch the full version on our CTV apps.
See more stories and videos about Memorial Day here.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here. Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- WATCH LIVE: Daily briefings from CA, Bay Area officials
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Latino community
- WATCH: 'Your Mental Health: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall addressing COVID-19 impact on mental health
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions