Community comes together for Memorial Day, first large event in Palmer since COVID

Hampden County

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – The Memorial Day Parade in Palmer was the first community event in more than a year.

In 2020, most Memorial Day parades did not happen. This year’s parade was a close call with COVID-19 restrictions and the weather forecast. When community members in Palmer heard about the parade possibly not happening again this year, many were upset.

“My office and Representative Smola’s office, ringing with phone calls, please put on a parade, so I immediately the next day went and sat with the chief and our board of health director to make sure we could safely do it. But in the meantime of that original meeting, Governor Charlie Baker lifted the restrictions.” said Robert Lavine, Councilor at Large.

The COVID-19 restrictions that could have prevented this parade from happening were lifted on May 29th, so it was just a matter of getting everything organized and making sure the weather cooperated. Community members were determined to make sure this Memorial Day parade went on, rain or shine.

Lavine and Representative Todd Smola were able to put this event together on a short notice. Thankfully, the rain held off for the parade and the streets were packed with community members.

“For me, I find it to be, it’s a privilege and I think it is a little bit of a responsibility and obviously the society here has reflected in appreciation,” said former Marine Bernie Bergeron.

During the ceremony, community members pay tribute to veterans who were present and remember those who are no longer with us, while Noah Lis, a former contestant on The Voice, performed the National Anthem. Being the first community event in over a year, this parade really helped bring the community together.

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