Mentor Memorial Day commemoration goes forward, but altered because of coronavirus concerns

Cars-only parade, closed ceremony

Mentor Memorial Day commemoration goes forward, but altered because of coronavirus concerns
Flags fly at half staff at a closed ceremony for Memorial Day at Mentor Municipal Cemetery (Source: Vic Gideon)

MENTOR, Ohio (WOIO) - A shorter procession to Mentor Municipal Cemetery for a closed service had few watching from the street and nothing but cars in the usual festive parade.

“It’s sad that current circumstances prevent us from celebrating as a community,” says Mentor City Manager Kenneth Filipiak.

But some say they wouldn’t miss it.

“I have been here being a veteran,” says William Mitten, who served in the Coast Guard during the Korean War and drove a restored WWII Army jeep down Hopkins. “You’re a veteran for life and it’s just a thing you do.”

Some Memorial Day commemorations go forward but altered because of coronavirus concerns

Dan Biel watched from his front yard right outside the cemetery, as he has for the last 30 years.

“Ordinarily, my driveway all the way up to Mentor Avenue, it’s all people in the chairs, little kids, the dogs," says Vietnam veteran. "It’s quite a celebration.”

The service was less celebration than memorial, including a 21-gun salute, taps, and Mentor High School student Claire Mitchell singing the national anthem.

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