PLYMOUTH, Mich. – The normally packed Memorial Day celebration in Plymouth couldn’t go on as planned due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, but instead of canceling, organizers decided to take the event on the road.
“About three to four weeks ago, it was apparent that we had to change things up,” Plymouth City Manager Paul Sincock said.
UPDATE -- May 25, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 54,881; Death toll now at 5,240
The staging area for Plymouth’s Memorial Day celebration is far less congested this year. There are usually hundreds of cars and floats filling the parking lot, but Monday, there were just a few dozen with a pointed purpose.
Organizers said canceling the event altogether was the wrong thing to do, instead deciding to simply scale back. They said taking the parade on the road was the best alternative.
“We need to stay safe,” Plymouth VFW Auxiliary Sherrie Adis said. “Many of us are older, but we didn’t want this to go unnoticed.”
“I think it’s a wonderful thing that we celebrate it,” World War II veteran William A. Neu said.
“I’m glad we could do this much,” Plymouth VFW Auxiliary Cathy Brya-Rotta said. “I’m very happy for that.”
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“I’m happy to do something,” Westland resident Jason Carson said.
Residents could step outside or watch from Main Street as the parade wound through neighborhoods. Some gathered, but not the thousands that typically would have for the event.
“Under the circumstances, we do what we can,” said Richard Mamayek, of Plymouth.
“This is not a day to say thank you -- this is a day to honor those who have given us the freedom, paid the ultimate price,” Plymouth VFW Auxiliary Melissa Selders said.