ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — This year the Memorial Day parade, the band and barbecue are back in St. Johnsbury after the coronavirus pandemic altered the event last year.
“It’s important to us being veterans to honor the fallen heroes, the people who lost their lives fighting for the country and our freedom,” Mike O’Brien, commander of the American Legion Post 58 told the Caledonian Record.
Last year, the American Legion held an outside dedication ceremony with COVID-19 precautions in place for a monument honoring St. Johnsbury people who were killed in combat since World War II. The restrictions prevented the parade, a park band performance and the post-parade chicken barbecue.
This year a brief ceremony will be held on Veterans Memorial Bridge at 9 a.m. on Sunday, followed by a parade on Main Stret that starts at 10:30 a.m. and will end at Courthouse Park for a ceremony. The St. Johnsbury Band will perform a concert of partriotic marches and historic music from World War I and World War II starting at 10:30 a.m.
“Last year was the first time that the band did not participate in the Memorial Day observance in over 100 years due to COVID-19,” Dave Hare told the newspaper in an email. After the ceremony, a free chicken barbecue will be provided at the American Legion and is open to the public.