Mount Vernon — Coronaviris (COVID-19) has changed the world as we know it from shutting down the entire sports world to businesses being shuttered and citizens being asked to stay in the house. As the country prepared to re-open, things may never truly go back to the way there were.
One example was the city of Mount Vernon participating in its very first Memorial Day Motorcade in honor of our fallen heroes in place of the annual Memorial Day Parade. I caught a glimpse of it as it traveled down my block pass my home. Memorial Day ceremonies looked very different this year, but not even a global pandemic can keep people from honoring those who died protecting our country.
The motorcade kicked off at 10:30AM at Mount Vernon High School parking lot at 100 California Rd traveling down California Road to Columbus Avenue eventually turning right on East 5th Street making a few turns until it found it way on South 7th Avenue pass Levister Towers and down my block (see video below) turning back on East 5th Street. continuing to the city and wrapping up at City Hall Plaza.
Residents came outside and looked out their windows, greeting and waving at over 200 vehicles consisting of Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, FDMV, MVPD, DPW, MV Recreation Dept, the office of emergency services, elected officials, candidates, The Mount Vernon Classic Car Club, The Shiftmasters of Westchester, The Fat Boy Motorcycle Club, The High Rollers Motorcycle Club (Mount Vernon), The Forsaken Motorcycle Club (Yonkers), The Queens Muscle Car Club, The Legendary Muscle Cars (Long Island), and others as they passed by. While there were a few residents trying out what was going on and what all the noise was, most were receptive of the first-ever motorcade.
“While we weren’t able to have a parade, we brought a motorcade to you,” Mayor Shawyn Patterson Howard said after the motorcade via video. “And I just wanted to say thank you. We’ve all be on shutdown for 80-plus days. I know it’s been wearing on so many people and emotionally and mentally people were just tired. So today was just a real breath of fresh air. We were able to come out and realized we are still a community, we are still unified, still strong. We lost a lot of people, a lot of people who have been sick. But we are a resilient community and today was just one of the first signs of it. So I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all the people who came out to all who lined the parade route, those who were in your windows and screamed and participated. To the lady who came out with her flag folded from someone she lost, we honor you. We honor everyone who has lost someone in military service. Like we always say, all gave some and some gave all and we honor you today.”
The entire motorcade was streamed live on Facebook.com/CMVNY from start to finish.
Before the motorcade there also was a Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at City Hall at 10AM. Click here to watch.
There were other motorcades through Westchester including the Yonkers’ Memorial Day Motorcade which began at 11AM at JFK Marina and make its way across the city, visiting and passing the city’s VFW Posts and war memorials.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano says the city will not let the day go by without respectfully remembering the Yonkers residents and all veterans who died during war.
“We should just remember while we’re all going through this tough time today, there are those who would love to be here, who sacrificed their own lives so that we could be here today,” Spano said.
Black Westchester salutes and honors all those who sacrificed their lives so we could enjoy freedom, Happy Memorial Day!