Local veterans show their independence with unofficial 4th of July parade

July 4th

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — It’s a tradition. Every year hundreds celebrate the 4th of July by standing shoulder to shoulder along streets of South Norfolk in Chesapeake.

Like many events, COVID-19 concerns have caused many cancellations and that is not sitting well with a group of veterans.

“Well, it’s Independence Day and it’s sort of ironic. It’s Independence Day, and we’re showing our own independence,” Cmdr. Chris Mulholland told 10 On Your Side.

VFW Post 2894 decided that the pandemic will not halt the iconic parade.

“It feels like small-town U.S.A. and it goes through a historic section of South Norfolk. The homes are beautiful, the people decorate their houses and everybody is out on the sidewalks cheering and its really- its a fun parade,” Mulholland continued.

He and about 30 other veterans conjured up a plan at their last meeting.

“It’s just unofficial. It’s just a bunch of people that just happen to be arriving at the same place, driving on the same route you know it — it happens,” he said.

They will be draping their cars in red, white, and blue — honking, waving, and reminding folks that freedom should be celebrated.

“Actually 29 years ago, I was just thinking about this, I celebrated 4th of July in Northern Iraq,” Mulholland recalled.

The group intends to stay socially distant and does not expect any problems.

“I’ve always operated under the — it’s better to offer forgiveness than ask permission,” Mulholland said, but he is offering no apologies now for what is about to happen tomorrow.

“It would be just a shame if nothing happened on the 40th anniversary of their parade on the 4th of July.”

The veterans will meet at 9:30 a.m. and drive the normal parade route through South Norfolk. Then the group plans to extend their ride through Deep Creek and onto Cedar Manor Assisted Living Facility to join up with that parade.

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