PHILADELPHIA, N.Y. (WWNY) - A special tradition in Philadelphia looked a little different this year but lived on through the spirit of the community members.
A memorial car parade was held in place of the typical memorial baseball tournament for Trooper Joel Davis.
Aside from the roar of firetrucks and first responder vehicles, all was silent Friday night as the Philadelphia community remembered the life and legacy of hometown hero Trooper Joel Davis, who was killed in the line of duty in 2017.
Because Davis was a huge baseball fan, he’s usually honored with the Joel Davis Memorial Baseball Tournament. But because of coronavirus limitations, his loved ones got creative with this alternative.
“One of the things that Joel was known for was serving the community, and we believe in continuing that legacy of service, so we wanted to find a way to come together and honor Joel and his legacy,” said event organizer Wayne Mattingly.
Dozens of loved ones and supporters drove through a line of lit first-responder vehicles at the Indian River Athletic Complex where the baseball tournament is usually held.
“This is what he would’ve wanted. He wanted to have fun, he wanted everybody to have fun. He had the biggest smile, he had this laugh that was just contagious. He is watching over, having a good time, loving that everybody’s here,” said Josh Davis, Trooper Joel Davis’ older brother.
Loved ones say Saturday would’ve been Trooper Davis’ 40th birthday.
To celebrate, the Philadelphia Volunteer Fire Department held a chicken barbecue in his honor. All funds going back toward those who serve the community as Davis did.