By Joe Holden

DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — This year was a much different Memorial Day experience in Media, Delaware County. The small town is known for its decades-old Memorial Day parade. But the COVID-19 pandemic added an even more somber tone to this holiday.

In most respects, Memorial Day is about memory lane. Exactly one year ago, a crystal clear day welcomed the crowds.

(credit: CBS3)

Monday was sullen and gray, a landscape fitting of the mood of Media, a town very much missing Memorial Day.

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Today, there were no interviews, no curbside moms or dads and their wide-eyed children, and no proud firefighters to show off their colorful rigs. And in this social distancing era, sadly there were no high fives.

The veterans in their decorated uniforms stayed home.

Memories of battle and fighting for something bigger were not publicly recounted. The echoes of one man’s grateful sentiments will have to do, as they still ring true and carry on this lonely day.

“All the service people in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, all of the armed forces, we thank them all,” the man said.

These are the reminders of what it means to publicly honor those who fought for freedom, never to return.

Those memories are more meaningful on a Memorial Day where public tributes largely fell silent.