FREEHOLD – The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has scuttled plans for the 146th Memorial Day parade in Freehold Borough. The parade was scheduled to be held on Memorial Day, May 25.
In a statement released on May 13, the Memorial Day Parade Committee said that “due to the current public health emergency, we regret to announce that the Freehold Memorial Day Parade will not proceed as usual this year.
“This decision was a very difficult one, but one that was made with local government officials in the interest of safety for the marching units and the viewing public. The safety of all involved is paramount.
“Having said that, the Memorial Day Parade Committee is dedicated to ensuring that our community commemorates the sacrifices made by our servicemen and servicewomen over the years to protect our freedoms.
“We are committed to paying tribute to our fallen military in a respectful manner that will enable us to still follow all social distancing guidelines and ensure the safety of all.
“This was not an easy decision to make for anyone involved, but it is the necessary one. Next year we will meet again to celebrate and commemorate in person and it will be wonderful to see you all again,” the committee members wrote.
An update regarding the commemoration that may take place on May 25 may be released in the near future.
According to history.com, Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has kept New Jersey in a virtual state of lockdown since mid-March. The virus had claimed the lives of 9,946 individuals as of May 14.