VERGENNES, Vt. (WCAX) The coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on many annual Memorial Day events and festivities this year. That includes parades in Brandon, Essex, Middlebury, and Orwell to name a few. Long standing traditions put on pause for a year for everyone's safety.
"Observances have taken some form in the past 150 years, and also it's really kind of part of being an American. Many of us rely on these moments of reflection," said Michelle Caver of VFW Post 782.
Caver says she feels guilty about canceling Burlington's celebration, but there are other ways people are encouraged to celebrate.
In Winooski, VFW members will be out planting miniature American flags in Winooski's cemeteries. In Jericho, they're encouraging people to go to the cemetery and pay a visit to the graves of those who gave their lives.
Nationally, the VFW says they're asking our veterans and families to share stories on our social media platforms of their fellow comrades and loved ones so we remember their sacrifice.
In Vergennes, the biggest Memorial Day parade in the state has been canceled.
"It's very deeply rooted in our community, and when the decision was made to cancel the parade, there was a lot of heartfelt sorrow about it," said Mayor of Vergennes, Jeff Fritz.
But they're not forgoing celebrations entirely. The city is coordinating a Bang-n-Clang parade along the parade route, and even a slight extension. These noise-making parades happen every Saturday at 7 p.m. in Vergennes, but they're running a special one in the spirit of Memorial Day.
"Remember what the day is all about. And that's part of the reason that we're doing it. We are remembering, those who have given their lives in the service. And right now that seems more important maybe than ever before," said Frtiz.
The special Memorial Day Bang-n-Clang Parade will start at the Vergennes Union Elementary School and circle all throughout the city. That begins at 3 p.m. on Monday.