Community can join Memorial Day drive-thru
People are used to Memorial Day as a time to gather, to place red-white-and-blue decorated wreaths, to stand in solidarity and honor military members and who sacrificed their lives. This year, the cancellation of all in-person ceremonies will not stop veterans and community members from honoring the fallen.
Individual veterans and organizations are teaming up for a drive-thru parade at the Delaware Veterans Memorial cemeteries in Bear and Millsboro Saturday, May 30.
Kim Petters, a veteran from Magnolia, came up with the idea with her friend and fellow veteran Steve McGuire.
“It’s really not about any of us. It’s about honoring our fallen and making our gold star families know that they’re loved and the sacrifices of their family members are very much appreciated,” Petters said.
Anyone who wants to go can drive to the cemetery in Bear at 11 a.m. or the one in Millsboro at 2 p.m. People will meet at the entrance and follow a circular parade route without getting out of their cars.
“We thought this would be a way for us to still honor our fallen while still following CDC guidelines,” Petters said.
The drive-thru will be led by the Delaware Patriot Guard, and some members will form a traditional flag line by the field signs of the cemeteries. They are hoping to have a fire truck hang a large American flag at the entrance.
When Petters called Delaware State Captain of the Patriot Guard Dan Kapitanic, he was already thinking of doing something similar.
“It’s all about honoring the veterans and honoring those who served, for those who protected our freedom. Even though we’re under a COVID situation it shouldn’t stop anything,” Kapitanic said.
Since the state cannot have the traditional big ceremony at Delaware Veterans Memorial Park near the Memorial Bridge, Larence Kirby, executive director of veterans services, said this is a way to still honor those who lost their lives and their families.
“It’s actually more attuned because it will be at the cemeteries where our veterans are resting,” Kirby said.
Several veterans will go directly from Bear to Millsboro. They plan on stopping at Mission BBQ in Dover to get take-out for lunch. Anyone is welcome to join for both celebrations.
For more, visit the Delaware Patriot Guard Facebook page.