MAMARONECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – It will be a July 4th unlike any in our lifetimes.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the cancellation of parades and fireworks displays.

The protests are reshaping how some view the promise of our nation.

Just down the hill from the scene of a Revolutionary War skirmish in 1776 is Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck. People are casting around for alternatives to the traditional Firemen’s Carnival, canceled due to COVID-19.

“Pizza, all kinds of games, rides for the kids,” said Mamaroneck Mayor Tom Murphy.

Murphy says the event is beloved and the disappointment is deep.


“But I think people realize that this year, what’s paramount is protecting people’s health,” Murphy said.

One mother-daughter duo scaled back their holiday plans – no big trip to the beach.

“We’re going to do a barbecue at our house, with some family members, we’re going to social distance and do the best we can,” said Yonkers resident Mary Jeremias.

“The 4th of July is about our nation and being together and being united. Let’s unite and keep each other safe,” said Sarah Westervelt of Mamaroneck.

Another Westchester tradition is a holiday visit to Rye Playland with the kids.

“Enjoying a wonderful day at Rye Playland, and then fireworks in the evening,” said Ken Jenkins, deputy county executive.

He says it’s sad to see the entire season canceled for the first time since the park opened in 1928.

It survived World War II, but not COVID-19.

Jenkins says this holiday he is reflecting on America’s founding principals, as protests remind us many feel America’s promise is unmet.

“At this particular point in time it’s really important that we’re recognizing that there are some challenges, but we need to celebrate and recognize that together, we all are gonna make a difference… as we continue to try to shape a perfect nation,” he said. “We know that there’s lots of work to do.”

Coming together, while staying apart: Independence Day, 2020.


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