NEW YORK — Memorial Day in New York City is being marked with car convoys and small ceremonies instead of parades, as those looking to honor fallen military members have to contend with coronavirus restrictions.
"It's something we're upset about, but we understand," said Raymond Aalbue, chairman of the United Military Veterans of Kings County, which usually puts on a parade in Brooklyn.
There's "no reason to put anybody in harm's way," he said. Still, "it's really cutting quick to the heart of all the veterans."
His organization will have a convoy of 10 cars leaving from the Bay Ridge spot where the parade usually starts and then ending up at the Brooklyn veterans affairs hospital, where participants will line up next to their cars for a salute and a wreath-laying ceremony.
A couple lie on an Anerican flag towel at Coney Island beach during the current coronavirus outbreak, Sunday, May 24, 2020, in New York, as the Memorial Day holiday weekend kicked off the first weekend of summer. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
In Queens, the group behind the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade will have a few people at the site where they normally end their parade, said executive director Victor Mimoni.
One person will lay a wreath, another will do a flag ceremony and a third will play "Taps" while some others watch, he said, a far cry from the crowds that usually attend the event.
But "we felt the need to do something," Mimoni said.
On Staten Island, another convoy of cars, led by motorcycles, will take off in a procession after a wreath-laying ceremony at Hero Park.
Police ride along the Riegelmann Boardwalk at Coney Island to enforce social distancing during the current coronavirus outbreak, Sunday, May 24, 2020, in New York. Luna Park is closed but the beach is open, however swimming was prohibited and social distancing reminders were abundant. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
In Manhattan, there will be a private ceremony at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum featuring a ceremonial wreath-laying and the playing of "Taps" that will be recorded and broadcast online Monday afternoon.