LEWISBURG — Veterans will be honored in Lewisburg on the last Saturday of the month, but less formally than usual.
Facebook posts have noted plans for a procession called “Coronavirus Protest: Support our Veterans” at the same time, date and along the same route as what would have been the Union County Veteran’s 4th of July Parade. The traditional parade was canceled earlier this year amid uncertainty over coronavirus conditions in early summer.
Billy Allred, a Union Township resident, said he was helping to promote the loosely assembled procession.
“My understanding is it is not an organized event,” Allred said. “It is simply folks who have gotten together and said (they) love the parade and we hate that it has been taken away from us this year.”
Allred stressed that the decision of the Union County Veteran’s 4th of July Parade Committee to cancel was entirely justified in view of the pandemic.
“We understand we can’t have the classic parade,” Allred said. “But we are going to go out and celebrate independence and our veterans anyway by driving or walking along the parade route along that same day and time that parade would have been.”
Allred speculated that some people may celebrate by holding signs or waving flags.
“There are no instructions for them to do a particular thing or not do a particular thing,” Allred added. “It’s just, let’s go out and celebrate our veterans and America’s independence.”
Allred said the coronavirus reference was to indicate acknowledgement that the pandemic has canceled so many cherished events.
“It is not that we are opposed to coronavirus restrictions,” Allred said. “Coronavirus took away the parade but we are not going to let us take away our celebrations of American independence and veterans.”
Terry Burke, Union County Veterans 4th of July Parade Committee president, posted the following on the committee’s Facebook page.
“It has come to our attention that an event is being planned for what would have been our traditional parade time by the ‘Union County Coronavirus Protest: Support Our Veterans.’ While we appreciate the passion this organization has for veterans, the Union County Veterans’ 4th of July Parade Committee is NOT associated with this event.”