An update on COVID-19 news
Posted on 05/21/2020
The Veterans Section of Rural Hill Cemetery where flags will be placed along each headstone.
Dear Northvillians,

As we ready ourselves for the coming Memorial Day weekend, it’s up to all of us to remember those who have fallen defending our rights and liberties for our country, state, and the city we love. With the pandemic still in our midst, the Memorial Day parade and activities to honor our vets have been cancelled. This is the first time in 152 years, since the inaugural gathering in 1868, that we will not hold this event.

A Tribute to Memorial Day in Northville
In lieu of our local Memorial Day commemorations, I would like to share with you some of my personal recollections of this day. As many have experienced, Northville’s Memorial Day parade concludes at our own mini-Arlington (the Veterans Memorial Section of Rural Hill Cemetery), which is maintained by our VFW post and their Auxiliary. Their volunteers annually place flags throughout the cemetery on each fallen hero’s grave site. This activity has been part of my life these past 60 years and that of my family well before that. My father (past historian & WWII Marine Air Corp vet) is buried in Rural Hill; my brother, who has a memorial bench in Northville’s Town Square, served his country during the Vietnam era. And my mother, who was born on the day WWI ended (Nov. 11, 1918, now Veterans Day), did her part by being a “Rosie the Riveter” at the B24 Liberator Bomber plant at Willow Run.

Looking back to yesteryear, Oct. 10, 1918, Mr. & Mrs. Green of Northville received official notice that their son Lloyd, of the U.S. machine gun battalion, had been killed in a front-line battle in France. As with so many others, Lloyd Green paid the supreme price for liberty and humanity. Buried in Rural Hill as the only soldier killed in action in World War I, the VFW Post 146 is named after him. Notably, there are many other veterans from that era and the years beyond whose final resting place is Rural Hill.

Memorial honors go back even further than WWI, as records tell us a Civil War soldier named John Lewis marched in Northville’s Centennial Parade in 1927, along with other veterans of that war. This is captured on a classic video used for local history lectures. Mr. Lewis was the last known Civil War vet in the greater Northville area when he passed on Jan. 1, 1941. Additionally, in 1932, the Northville Record tells us that Civil War veteran Marvin Bogart was in attendance at the Memorial Day parade at age 92, riding in the car of Luther Lapham. During the cemetery ceremony, he listened to the annual reading of “In Flanders Fields” as read by Fred Casterline.

Early veterans in our cemeteries include many original settlers… you will recognize some of the names:

• War of 1812: William Dunlap, Robert Purdy, Eli Simmons, Eugene Starkweather, Joe Allen, Avery Downer, Caleb Harrington, Rev. Anson & Asa Sha, Asa Sloan & Oliver Whitaker

• Civil War: Alfred Beal, Ed Horton, William Little, William Hastings, Sylvester Babcock, Alexander Hamilton, William Clark, Eugene Clarkson, William Downer, Leander Ferguson, Harvey Goodell, Allen Harmon, John Hughston, Achmed Lawson, Hiram Lount, Lester Clinton Lyke, Daniel Palmer, Elias Perrigo, William Slater, Perrin Wight and Lester Withee

• Spanish American War: Frank Lewis

Growing up in Northville, I have many memories of the Memorial Day holiday, with its 21-gun salute and the elite VFW Team organizing everything. The NHS band playing taps and patriotic songs tugged on our heart strings. Especially moving, the poem In Flanders Field was always recited during the ceremony. Written by John McCrae while remembering a WWI battle in Belgium during 1915, this war poem truly captures the raw emotion of those who served and sacrificed. I highly recommend it to everyone for this Memorial Day. The VFW has an original handwritten copy, but you can also find it online.

Current Updates
Like the military wars our brave heroes fought, today we battle the invisible enemy of COVID-19. As part of our fight, the State of Michigan has instituted the Stay Home/Stay Safer policies and procedures that are still in effect until May 28 to ensure all Northvillians’ safety.

Next Virtual Town Hall is May 28 – Once again, we will go online to answer all your questions starting at 7 p.m. next Thursday. Due to the many community-wide questions, I’ve also invited Bob Nix (Northville Township Supervisor) to join me. To join the Town Hall, please use this link. https://smart.newrow.com/#/room/fga-386

The good streak continues – Northville hasn’t had a confirmed Covid-19 case since April 23. In total, the City has had 35 confirmed cases, with four fatalities. Michigan overall has 52,000 cases of the virus and 5,000 deaths and the nation has nearly 1.5 million cases and 90,000 deaths. My condolences go out to those who’ve lost loved ones. We’ve lost more lives due to COVID-19 than we lost in the entire Vietnam War.

Even though the City’s infection rate has dropped virtually to zero, Covid-19 continues to disrupt our health, economy, home lives, education, civic activities and our businesses, and has also impacted our social and religious institutions. As I walk and drive our town, I continue to be encouraged seeing citizens wearing masks and adhering to social distancing – we do it to lessen the risk of spread and out of respect for others around us. More importantly, our continued vigilance will help minimize the threat of any second outbreak. This battle will not be completely over until a cure is found and vaccinations are available to all.

Clearly, we are looking at life differently going forward, as it relates to our work environment, socialization, gatherings and personal spacing. My commitment to you is to continue to be transparent, while keeping all Northvillians connected and safe, communicating daily, publishing weekly and through monthly Town Hall meetings.

Actions taken
• I continue to urge people to keep social distancing, but go for walks for mental and physical well-being, and run your needed errands. Most importantly, continue to stay close digitally.

• The Northville Flower Sale will be May 22-23 @ the Farmers' Market location. For all the details (and the Covid-19 Flower Sale policies), go to Chamber of Commerce event page.

• Downtown Events – the concert series, all festivals and other events are being reviewed daily. I’m fully supportive if we can work within the State’s directives and the CDC Policies.

• Downtown Business Openings – the governor updated her executive order to allow retailers to join restaurants for curbside pickup. (On May 21, the governor allowed retail outlets to reopen with no more than 10 people at a time in the store. See executive order 2020-96.) We’ve expanded pick-up areas and are looking at other innovative ways to assist our businesses. Some restaurants have reopened this past week for take-out/delivery, including Edwards Catering, Poole’s, Lucy & the Wolf and Table 5. Before that, Tuscan Café re-opened for take-out/delivery and Custard Time has opened for the season. Finally, we sincerely appreciate those that have stayed open from the beginning for take-out/delivery, including: Genitti’s, 160 Main, Los Tres Amigos, Rebecca’s, Tiramisu, along with shops such as Simply Wine, Celebrity Pets, and many more. For more information, please visit either of these links:

o Current List of Restaurants offering Delivery and Carryout

o Click here to obtain information about local carry-out for Northville Chamber Member Restaurants

• Please support your local businesses in Northville – the survival of your favorite stores is dependent on our patronage. The added pick-up/delivery parking spaces in downtown for our restaurants and retailers should help everyone. I was also heartened to see that in this month’s edition of The ‘Ville, a total of 46 contributors were listed as making a financial donation to the magazine (the most ever). That’s terrific support for a magazine we have all come to enjoy reading.

• Benefits that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act brings to Michigan:
o For families and workers – direct cash payments of $1,200, phasing out at $75,000 per individual & $150,000 for a household.

o For our seniors – Provides meal delivery and nutrition services for older Michiganders and individuals with disabilities.

For our health care - Invests $200 billion in our hospitals, health systems & health research, plus expanded funding for PPE. It also ensures Covid-19 testing is covered by insurance plans without cost sharing. Work is in process to provide additional testing capability.

Update on City operations and around town
 
• Senior Transportation Services is still available and first responders activities continue to remain uninterrupted.

• Essential services are open to serve you.

• To show our personal appreciation for our first responders, Bob Nix (Township Supervisor) and I are posting a big “Thank You” on the Marquee billboard at the Marquis Theater.

• Farmers’ Market is now open every Thursday at the Northville Downs location (with required physical distancing).

• Again, thank you for your support of our local Northville Civic Concern.

Don’t forget to complete the 2020 census
Census 2020 response rate is at 78.4% for Northville (2010 was 80.6%) compared to Southeastern Michigan’s 69%, while Wayne County is at 61% and Oakland County is at 74%. You can respond online, by phone, or by mail. What’s at stake is funding from 132 Federal departments for infrastructures, education and more.

Please continue to share your time and talents with those in this community as we work through these extraordinary times. And like all of our previous wartime efforts, we will get through by working together. As we fight this invisible enemy, it’s up to all of us to do what we can for others.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend. Be sure to thank a veteran today.

Be safe and continue to keep that Northville faith!

Stay “Northville Strong!”

Brian Turnbull
Mayor – Northville
BTurnbull@ci.northville.mi.us
248.505.6849