In my first year of college, I auditioned for a part in the reader's theater presentation of selected works of three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and biographer Carl Sandburg. I remember there were selections from his popular biography, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, and from his epic prose poem, "The People, Yes," among others.

In "The People, Yes," there's a line by a little girl, who for the first time sees a group of soldiers marching in a parade, and asks why are there soldiers and what do they do? When her questions are answered, she pauses and says, "Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come."

It's now close to Memorial Day 2020. In Fall River, according to the Herald News, because of COVID-19, there's going to be a major change in the parade that pays tribute to our nation's fallen soldiers. Officials don't want families crowding the sidewalks along the parade, so they'll have the procession travel around the city. There won't be the usual kick-off from Kennedy Park Veterans' Memorial and they're going to eighty-six the closing ceremonies as well. Of course, the participants will be required to wear face masks, plastic gloves and distance themselves as mandated.

This pandemic has rejigged everything, to the point where sometime they'll give a parade and nobody will come.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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