The Elks Club Memorial Day Tribute
Submitted by Donna Hild
With the Memorial Day Parade canceled Elks Club Trustee Rich Rovito wanted to find a way to still acknowledge the day and honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. With Exalted Ruler Donna Hild, they decided on a drive-by caravan past the homes of Elks members who are Veterans to thank them for their service.
Member Jim Forsyth loaned the Elks members John Clare’s Vintage Fire Truck, which John volunteered to drive. Past Exalted Ruler Josephine Gagliano dressed as Elroy the Elk and Rich Rovito was Uncle Sam.
Following Social distance guidelines, while also wearing masks, members met at the Elks Club at 10 am on Memorial Day, May 25th. They played the National Anthem by the Lodge Flag Pole, as Esquire Ann Mery sang, joining the NJ Veterans Network in honoring Fallen Veterans to show their solidarity.
Together, Elks members decorated the cars and headed out. Leading Knight Beth Toole led the caravan. Memorial Day is always a solemn parade and therefore silent, so they didn’t beep horns and make noise. As they drove past homes they only beeped twice to let the veterans know they had arrived and held signs, each with the veteran’s name. Several members came out to greet them.
Elks Club members were happy to be able to still come together and acknowledge the day even during the pandemic crisis.