The coronavirus isn't preventing a well-deserved, drive-by celebration for this Central New York hero's birthday!

New York State Police participated in a parade Tuesday morning in honor of Raymond A. Salvie's 95th birthday. There's more than one reason Mr. Salvie can be considered a hero. He served as a decorated U.S. Marine in the 3rd Marine Division at the battle at Iwo Jima in 1945, and he also served with the New York State Police for 25 years. After decades of serving his country and community, Salvie retired as a Senior Investigator in 1979 and was assigned to the North Syracuse barracks.

As police drove past his house Tuesday morning, Salvie stood outside, waving and donning a sweet smile of appreciation.

New York State Police
New York State Police
New York State Police

He then brought a few troopers inside, showing them a room decorated with American flags, certificates, and photos dedicated to his time in the war.

New York State Police
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Drive-by birthday parades have boomed in popularity since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, as people searched for new ways to celebrate milestones while social distancing.

Remember Edith Morse? In April, she celebrated her 100th birthday from inside The Grand in Utica as wailing firetrucks and honking cars passed by to wish her well. Her son David wasn't allowed to enter the facility because of COVID-19 restrictions, but he stood outside her window and talked to her over the phone.