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Thank you, first responders: Parade honors frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19

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ELKTON— A long line of fire engines, ambulances, and police cars from all over Cecil County paraded around ChristianaCare Union Hospital Thursday to honor the men and women working in the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers from the hospital and its allied agencies lined the street and cheered, with some holding signs thanking police, paramedics and firefighters in return for their work in the same war on novel coronavirus.

Members of the public that heard about the celebration and joined in as well.

Elkton Mayor Rob Alt manned a megaphone to address the crowd along North Street just before a line of more than 30 vehicles began to circle the block around the hospital, lights and sirens blaring.

Alt thanked everyone for their work, noting each puts himself or herself in danger to help the residents of Elkton and Cecil County.

The parade came from a conversation the mayor had with Dr. Richard Szumel, president and chief executive officer of CC Union.

“He and I had a discussion last week and felt it was very appropriate at this time,” Alt said.

Szumel said the turnout shows mutual admiration between the emergency responders in Cecil County and the staff at the hospital.

“This is so uplifting,” Szumel said of the show of support. He noted all the face masks lining the sidewalks and said each one has been in “a horrific situation” fighting COVID-19. “We wanted to show everyone here we care.”

There were even signs and an American flag waving from the roof of the parking garage sending thanks and proclaiming “Union Strong.”

Riding in one of the Cecil County Paramedic units, Alan McCarthy, Cecil County Executive, said he was encouraged by the announcement a day earlier by Gov. Larry Hogan that Maryland may be about to turn a corner and be able to begin lifting the stay at home, social distancing and business closure orders.

“We may be coming into our peak time,” McCarthy said of the virus. “But we’ve got to get our economy up and running. I’m honored and proud to be here and thank them for all the services they are providing during this pandemic.”

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