What would Memorial Day be without patriotic speeches and American flags?

A lot of people found out this year as the only speeches they heard were on television and the only flags were made of pixels on screens.

Not so for the more than 100 people who gathered in Phill G. McDonald Plaza in downtown Greensboro for a Memorial Day rally held by ReOpen NC, a grassroots organization that has been holding rallies and marches in Raleigh since April 14.

The Memorial Day version of the ReOpen NC rally was more about Memorial Day and the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country than about getting North Carolina reopened.

The need to get businesses open and get back to work was heard from the speakers, but far more time was spent talking about Memorial Day.

Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Mark Robinson, who might be considered the featured speaker, since no one wants to speak after him, came to the podium saying that he was going to speak about Memorial Day.

He said, “We’ve got to start putting the honor and respect back into Memorial Day.”

He said that America wouldn’t exist except for the men and women who sacrificed their lives for the country.

Robinson said, “Memorial Day is about honor and sacrifice and remembrance and reflection.”

He noted that the day is not about the veterans who served and came home but “about the 1.4 million Americans that were not able to come home to be called veterans.”

Republican Sixth District Congressional candidate Lee Haywood said, “We are here to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country so that we could gather here today.”

Haywood said that the government overstepped its authority in declaring who is essential and who is non-essential, which he said was “downright un-American.”

He noted that according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s rules, “You can go stand in line to buy a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 but you cannot go to church.”

He also asked people to respect businesses that require masks because, as business owners, that is their right.

North Carolina Insurance Commission Mike Causey, who is running for reelection in November, said that from what he had seen most people have been diligent and respectful of the stay-at-home orders but that it was now time to open up.

He said, “I’ve come to the conclusion that that there are more people worried about the economy and their jobs than the coronavirus.”

He said, “Following commonsense guidelines will go a long way toward keeping us healthy.”

Causey also talked about some of the things he has done to help people as insurance commissioner, such as getting the insurance companies to lower some car insurance rates because people were driving less and having fewer accidents.