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October 17, 2021

Letter: Gilroy Memorial Day Parade canceled

Last year at this time our nation was just coming to grips with a pandemic that would forever change our lives. Since then the global pandemic has kept its grip on our nation and the world.  Fortunately its grip is loosening!

A holiday like Memorial Day on May 31, 2021, should be a day to bring us together. Unfortunately, we can’t safely gather together yet. But we can unite as a community to remember, honor and mourn all military personnel who have died while serving our country. From World War I to Afghanistan, nearly 3 million Americans, including 80 Gilroyans, have paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedom, liberty and way of life.

In remembering the fallen, we must also honor their loved ones: spouses, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends. There really aren’t proper words, but we must live in gratitude each and every day for the precious gift that they have given all of us.

In previous years, on Memorial Day the Gilroy community has shown its appreciation for these heroes with a Remembrance Ceremony at the cemetery, followed by a parade and sometimes finishing with a family gathering at Christmas Hill Park. But again this year we can’t gather for a parade to remember the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes. Instead, we must demonstrate our gratitude individually. Here are some ways to show you care.

During the entire month of May, fly an American flag at your home and/or place of business. Visit the grave site of a veteran family member and leave a small American flag. Check in on a veteran neighbor and see how they’re doing. Paint patriotic rocks and place them around town. Check out the Gilroy Rocks Facebook page if you’re not familiar with this cultural phenomenon.  

Turn one light green—on your porch, in your home, or at your office. The national movement, Green Light a Vet, is a simple action to establish visible national support for our veterans. Then, share your support by taking a picture of your green light and posting it using the hashtag #greenlightavet.

While we may not be able to host a parade and properly honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day, we can show that these heroes are not forgotten. If we all do a little something to honor Gilroy’s fallen heroes, we will be united and together again.

Albert Lambert,

Gilroy Memorial Day Committee Chairman

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