ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Memorial Day celebrations looked a little different this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parade and community celebrations were either canceled or moved to online.
The pandemic did not stop a group of veterans from remembering fallen service members. Stanley Thompson served in the US Marine Corp for 16 years. Currently, he is the chapter president of the National Montford Point Marine Association.
“Memorial Day is just that, honoring those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice and losing their life while serving and saving lives protecting the lives of soldiers, sailors, marines, as well as those at home,” Thompson said.
Thompson said it didn’t feel right to do nothing for the men and women who gave their lives. The Marine Association, along with the Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum and the Winnebago County Veterans Associated walked through downtown Rockford to honor fallen veterans.
“It’s every veteran, it’s every American honoring the veterans that have fallen and we also have some motorcycles to come honor the veterans,” explained Scott Lewandowski, the director at Veteran’s Memorial Hall and Museum.
Members of the Fire Iron Station 53 also lent their support.
“At a point you have to remember what’s important to you and this is important to us and so we decided after careful consideration this what we want to do and this is what we should do so we did,” added Edward “Ed” Laba, the president for Fire Iron Station 53.
Lewandowski encouraged everyone to find a creative way to honor fallen veterans.
“You go to a veteran’s grave, you decorate it, maybe you have a moment of silence say something to honor that person especially a family member and also put charge to the veteran’s that they never forget,” Lewandowski said.
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