BETHLEHEM — Delmar resident Frank Murphy, who celebrated his 95th birthday on Monday, April 13, was surprised with a parade of around 10 cars outside his home on Pineview Avenue with neighbors driving by to wish him well.
Despite the heavy rain, the parade went ahead at 4:13 p.m., to reflect on his date of birth, and consisted of friends and neighbors slowly driving by with birthday messages, supportive posters and waving American flags. Murphy sat on a chair flanked with birthday balloons on his porch with his family as they watched the parade.
Murphy is a veteran, having served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War.
Given concerns for the COVID-19 pandemic and his advanced age, he practiced social distancing by staying on his porch throughout the parade. He also waved and smiled with gratitude as his neighbors honked, waved and wished him a happy birthday.
Neighbor Christine Edwards, who lives a block away, said social distancing caused by the pandemic has affected Murphy as he usually enjoys socializing with neighbors and friends in town.
“I think it’s important we need to check on our neighbors, especially our older neighbors, to make sure they’re doing well physically and spiritually,” she added.