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'They kept us safe': Hometown Heroes parade will honor frontline pandemic workers in Miami-Dade

Daniella Levine Cava, Will Hall
Wilfredo Lee
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava gets her first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on March 17, 2021.

Miami-Dade County will host its first-ever Hometown Heroes parade next month, to honor first responders, law enforcement professionals and healthcare workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic - and every day.

As she announced the event, County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava revisited the immense challenges the community has faced over this period.

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“Our residents were tested, our health care system was stretched thin, and our law enforcement and fire and rescue teams were called upon each and every day to fight a seemingly invisible disease, risking their own lives in the process,” she said.

“But even through those most challenging moments, we were able to witness inspiring moments of resiliency, innovation, kindness, and community. So the Hometown Heroes Parade will honor those who put Miami-Dade first, who delivered life-saving services and supplies, and who kept us safe when we were most vulnerable.”

County Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins, the prime sponsor of the legislation for creating the parade, added at last week's press briefing that the event, set for October 30th, will be an opportunity to reshape narratives and teach young people who true heroes are.

“When you call 911, these are the people that respond to your calls in a moment's notice without any questions asked. We've had that bravery and that heroism tested very recently. And so now is the opportune time to honor our heroes and to reshape our narratives for all of us and for all of our young people.” said Cohen Higgins.

“This parade is about our first responders. It is about the men and women in uniform that stand among us and work very hard to protect us every single day."

The mayor announced that Hometown Heroes will be free and open to the public. The street parade starts at 11 a.m. and will stretch from the Intercontinental Hotel in Downtown Miami to the FTX Arena’s Parcel B. The event will also have a main stage that will host live entertainment and a family-fun fest with different activities for the entire family to enjoy.

Helen Acevedo is a grad student at Florida International University studying Spanish-language journalism, a bilingual program focused on telling the stories of diverse communities.