Estate plan missing for annual Memorial Day event | News, Sports, Jobs

Cherin Mehs, David Hall and Cindy Hall tagged Gerry every Memorial Day weekend.

For two decades, Mehs and the Halls have helped make the Gerry Memorial Day Parade and Cemetery Service a community tradition.

But this tradition is on the verge of extinction, like so many other community traditions. The Gerry Memorial Day Parade will no longer take place this year, although the annual memorial service at Gerry Cemetery will take place.

However, COVID-19 is not the culprit.

It is the lack of young people who replace an older generation not only to participate in the parade, but also to plan and organize the parade.

“Doing everything is too much – it’s a lot of work”, Mehs spoke of the months of planning required to organize the festivities.

Mehs and David Hall appeared before Gerry City Council in March to discuss the future of the Memorial Day Parade. Part of the discussion included handing over the reins to another organization to ensure the parade, and possibly the cemetery service, would continue in Gerry.

“We will help and work with anyone who takes over,” said Mehs. “We will guide them and be involved for as long as we can.”

Gerry is just the latest in a long line of troubled long-running events. The annual Jamestown Holiday Parade almost didn’t happen because there was no one to organize it. Many community events in our region have too few volunteers.

We say thank you to Cherin Mehs, David Hall, Cindy Hall and everyone else who has volunteered their time over the years to make the holidays special and provide the events that many believe magically happen every year. A grateful community thanks you for your time and service.

At the same time, we wonder what happens to these community events as the generation that gave us people like Cherin Mehs and the Halls moves away from these events. Will anyone step in to keep these traditions alive?

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Joseph K. Bennett