OWEGO, NY – Today is a day in which we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the freedoms we hold so dear, and even with the constraints of coronavirus restrictions, one local town held a parade to honor those men and women.
Owego held an impromptu parade after organizer John Loftus saw the emotion from fellow organizer and veteran Jim Raftis on NewsChannel 34.
Raftis was explaining the plan for this year’s remembrance, but was quite sad that it wouldn’t be as big for the men and women who sacrificed their lives for us.
The parade itself left Temple Street before circling around Courthouse Square, where those in attendance could tip their hats to the monuments there.
Loftus, a former Mayor of Owego, says parades like this do not require anyone standing on the sidewalk watching, but instead the memory of those we have lost.
“It’s really just showing support as our community to our veterans, and everything they have done over all the conflicts, all the wars, the first responders dealing with this COVID situation. It’s really just showing our support. That’s what is important, and whether there is people in the street or not, is secondary,” he says.
Loftus quickly threw this parade together, contacting members of the Tioga County Legislature to see if it was okay, plus Owego Mayor Mike Baretta.
There was still a scattering of people lined up on the sidewalks around the square, waving at the fire trucks, police cars, and several military-style vehicles as well.