By Norm Machelor
Chairman of Lewiston’s Memorial Day Remembrance Committee
Lewiston’s Memorial Day Remembrance Committee (LMDRC) announced that our Memorial Day free town and village community luncheon has been cancelled for 2020. Of course, the reason is the coronavirus. The governor has required that we not gather in large groups, and serving 500-700 people lunch under a huge tent certainly looks like what he was talking about.
We also felt that our principal providers of this meal should not be burdened by being asked to donate thousands of dollars in prepared free food while they are under severe stress to their businesses because of the shut-down caused by the virus. We greatly appreciate their continued willingness to do so. So, thank you to the Brickyard Companies; Tops for the essential water and ice; and Hibbard’s Custard for your contributions to these events for several years to feed this community after our ceremonial remembrance of our honored military dead.
The LMDRC gathered by conference call on Saturday the 21st and decided to postpone a decision on also cancelling our town and village parade and community celebration at the Veterans Memorial at Academy Park. This will be discussed at our conference call on April 4. These decisions by the committee will depend on the then-current virus situation, government regulations, and also on the decisions of each of the parade participants regarding their willingness to bring their groups to a public parade.
If you are normally a Parade Participant, we ask you to contact me at 866-6880 and discuss your unit’s possible participation in this year’s parade and main ceremony. Your input will help the executive committee reach an informed decision. Thanks.
The LMDRC has been completely responsible for the Memorial Day parade, main ceremony and the luncheon since 2015, with the VFW Post providing the wreath-laying part. The VFW Post commander stated that the post would do its portion of the ceremony at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day if the LMDRC is forced to cancel the parade and main ceremony. The VFW will notify the public of their plans in the newspapers.
LMDRC will also be contacting our donors to ask each of them if they wish to have their donations returned or if they will agree to “roll them over” to 2021’s events. Flags and other items purchased for this year’s event will be used next year.
We are sad that this decision and the future decisions on the parade and main ceremony have to be made. We won’t repeat all the things we have heard again and again about this virus. Truly, we are all in this together. We are optimistic that things may get better sooner then we think. Thank you for your continued support of these community events.