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Birmingham Veterans Day Parade canceled, virtual event set

November 1, 2020 GMT

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama tradition that bills itself as the nation’s longest-running Veterans Day parade is being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham won’t happen this year because of the threat of spreading COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. A statement from organizers said it will be replaced by an online-only event for the first time.

The parade through downtown Birmingham has been held annually since 1947. The “virtual parade” is set for Nov. 11 and will include recorded and live content featuring various groups shown online at nationalveteransday.org.

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“Due to safety concerns, we knew the parade could not happen in its traditional format,” Mark Ryan, the president of the parade, said in the statement. “Despite this barrier, we wanted to continue to remember and honor our nation’s veterans while teaching others about their sacrifice, and this virtual event gives us the ability to do just that.”

Health officials say cases of COVID-19 are increasing in Alabama, and hospitalizations also are on the rise.