Like everything else, Memorial Day will be different this year.
The Ridge Run will not send thousands of people down Longwood Drive, racing through Beverly/Morgan Park. There will be no Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mt. Greenwood Memorial Day Parade following the Ridge Run, with veterans, Scouts and high school marching bands leading the march down Longwood Drive.
It will be much quieter that morning, another eerie reminder that life is far from normal during the COVID-19 crisis. However, plenty of opportunities remain to observe a day dedicated to those who have died serving our country.
Local businesses are offering catering packages for the many barbecues that are a Memorial Day tradition, providing another chance to support small businesses.
Even a walk through the neighborhood could be good for the soul, especially if it includes stopping by veterans memorials at Ridge Park and the Dan Ryan Woods.
A drive-by parade also seems appropriate, as such events have been held for birthdays and graduations in recent weeks.
Emotions continue to run high as Illinois remains under a stay-at-home order, with some people insisting that more of the economy be re-opened and others hoping restrictions stay in place.
America remains beautiful because people have many of rights—but they should exercise those rights responsibly. Being critical of elected leaders during unprecedented times is fair—protesting inside the state capitol building with guns, as some people did in Michigan, is not.
Everyone’s patience is running thin, but people should remember to treat those in difficult jobs during this public health crisis—such as grocery store employees and small-business owners—with respect—the same way they want to be treated.
The Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade have been postponed until Sept. 5, during Labor Day weekend. People worldwide hope for more normalcy by then, but society can only get there by following the advice of health experts.
As of May 18, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 96,485 cases of COVID-19, 4,234 deaths, in 100 counties in Illinois. The ages of victims ranged from younger than 1 to older than 100. Over 603,000 tests had been administered.
Those who died serving our country fought to preserve the American way of life and the many rights U.S. citizens enjoy. The least Americans can do these days is to exercise those rights with care.