Local Heroes’ Memorial Bridge Tour will go on, with some changes
In honor of Memorial Day, the Local Heroes’ Memorial Bridge Tour will be held Monday, with modifications in place to maintain social distancing.
In past years, the event has been a walking or cycling tour that includes visiting 15 plaques in Grass Valley and Nevada City commemorating local military personnel who died in military service.
This year, plans have changed to follow current public health recommendations to avoid large gatherings.
Haidee Reyes, one of the organizers of the event, said, “What we’re doing is a caravan, which is going to be led by Brian Hooper from the Grass Valley Police Department. We’re doing it this way for social distance and respect for the community.”
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The caravan, which all members of the community are invited to join in their vehicle, plans to leave the Grass Valley Veterans Hall at 1 p.m. Monday. It will proceed to drive the route through Grass Valley, and into Nevada City, slowing to observe each plaque site.
There will be a docent standing by each of the 15 sites, holding a photo of the commemorated person, and waving to the passing caravan. The docents will include various members of the community, from businesspeople to veterans or family members’ of military personnel.
Reyes, who has worked as an organizer of this yearly event for the past two years, added that Pat Nelson and Catherine Ione-Perkins, two founders of the event, will be docents this year.
Attendees of the event will also receive some information about each commemorated individual when they arrive, in lieu of the information usually available to participants as they walk up to each site’s docent.
The event will be uploaded for online viewing through Facebook Live on the “Local Heroes’ Memorial Bridge Tours” page.
Reyes and other organizers of the event were initially unsure whether hosting it would be possible as they began planning in March, citing difficulty touching base with local veterans due to meeting closures at veteran organizations.
However, she felt it was important to find a way to make the event work.
“This is for the commemorated veterans, but also for the living — we have a lot of military in our community that I want to honor and respect,” said Reyes.
Reyes shared that her father, brother, and son have all served in the U.S. military, which brings this event close to home for her family, as it does for many in Nevada County.
“So, for me, it’s very personal to want to honor and respect them,” said Reyes. “I just felt that we had to do something, and couldn’t let the event die out.”
This year’s Local Heroes’ Memorial Bridge Tour is hosted by the Nevada County Consolidated Veteran’s Council, military support organization Welcome Home Vets, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2655, and Friends of the Nevada County Military.
To get involved with the event, contact Reyes at 530-913-7819.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union.
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