Huntington, WV (WOWK) — The sentiment in downtown Huntington today was one of somber remembrance.
“We must never forget Memorial Day,” Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams says.
Dozens of cars filled the parking lot at the Save-A-Lot grocery store where the event took place, all there to pay tribute to service members and veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“It’s pretty impressive, I like it, it’s always well-supported. Huntington is a very patriotic community in my experience, so this turnout kinda shows that,” attendee Aaron-Michael Fox says.
For local VFW Commander David Moske, the cancellation of the beloved Memorial Arch ceremony due to COVID-19 was simply unacceptable.
“Our post saw a need for remembrance, for honor, of the sacrifice that men and women of our armed forces have given and so that’s where this idea sparked,” he says.
Even though the festivities looked a little different today, people still turned out in droves to show their support. This year’s “Cruise to Remember” began in the Save-A-Lot parking lot on 14th and ran in a loop past the Memorial Arch, Ritter Park and Cabell-Huntington Hospital. Cars and onlookers waved and stood with their hand over heart as the motorcade drove by.
It was an event to remember.
“That’s making history. We’ve always marched and walked with each other and had a ceremony and you know, all of the things that go with ceremonials, and this year we’re not doing that … so it is a most unusual but certainly very worthy and necessary observation of Memorial Day.”Hershel “Woody” Williams
Veterans in attendance couldn’t help but feel the same.
“They make us rejoice, to see them here,” Korean War veteran Earl Goodall says.
Billy Karnes, also a veteran of the Korean War, shared his thoughts.
“It’s a beautiful day. The good Lord is shining upon us,” he says.
While it’s unclear if this new tradition will carry on next year, the “Cruise to Remember” turned out to be the perfect way to honor our veterans — all while remaining socially distanced.