Greenfield honors veterans’ service
William Pelosky, 95, of Deerfield, recites the Pledge of Allegiance at the Veterans Day ceremony in Greenfield. Pelosky and his brothers all served in World War II and were in attendance. Pelosky served 5 years in the Army and more than 30 years in the Civil Air Patrol and Reserves and is an active member of the VFW.
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GREENFIELD, MA - November 12, 2012 - Donald Clark, 83 of Turners Falls receives a flag from Cub Scout Kordaryl Kendall, 8 of Greenfield during the Veteran's Day Parade in Greenfield. Clark served in the Navy during World War II aboard the USS Saipan. "I come to all parades, especially this one." Said Clark. Photo by Beth Reynolds Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD, MA - November 12, 2012 - Several hundred people attended the parade and ceremony for Veteran's Day in Greenfield. Photo by Beth Reynolds Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — They were all there for the same reason — the more than 150 people who lined Main Street on Monday morning.
There were children in strollers and seniors in wheelchairs. There were adults, young adults and children, as well as four-legged family members.
They were there to celebrate and thank veterans on Veterans Day 2012.
“We are here to honor our veterans and show our appreciation for their service and sacrifice,” said Sandra Cross, who sat with Alicia Cross and her two children, Angelino, 4, and Deshiana, 2 — all four were also there to see Alicia Cross’ 13-year-old son march in the parade with the Greenfield High School Marching Band.
The parade started at Greenfield Middle School and made its way down Main Street before turning around and heading back to Veterans Mall.
Led by Greenfield police, the American Legion Post 81, Disabled Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Greenfield Community College Veterans Group, members of the Vet to Vet program, the Greenfield Elks, and Pack 3 Cub Scouts of Greenfield followed. Baystate Health Ambulance and Greenfield Fire Department also participated.
The Greenfield High School Marching Band provided the music.
John Davis, owner of McCarthy Funeral Homes of Greenfield and Turners Falls, was the guest speaker.
Davis told veterans that it was a privilege for him to address them and that the entire community was there to honor them.
He told of a man, who he learned through research his daughter did recently, was a direct ancestor of his. That man was Capt. Isaac Davis, he told everyone there.
He told the crowd that the statue of the Minuteman near the Old North Bridge in Boston is in the likeness of his ancestor.
Davis proceeded to tell the story of Isaac Davis, who was a gunsmith and an officer who commanded a company of the Minutemen from Acton.
He said his ancestor was the first officer killed in the line of duty in the “shot heard ‘round the world” incident in 1775. It was the first shot fired during an armed standoff between British forces and local militia in Lexington, which escalated into engagements at the Old North Bridge in the battles of Lexington and Concord.
“Some things change with the passage of time, while others remain the same,” said Davis. “Volunteers (like Isaac Davis) are still called to duty today, and they go.”
He said sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, from all walks of life, serve their country, just as his ancestor did.
“We are forever linked to our ancestors,” he said. “They served our country and our community and they are the ones who fought for our freedom and liberty.”
“Every day is Veterans Day,” said Davis.
Then, commanders of some of the local veterans groups laid a wreath at the base of the town’s war memorial and Taps and the National Anthem were played, while the crowd stood in silence with heads bowed.
“Today means a lot to veterans,” said Leo Mooney, a Vietnam veteran from Athol who attended the Greenfield parade and ceremony and is a member of Disabled American Veterans.
Mooney and Daniel Flint of Shelburne, who is also a Vietnam veteran, said Veterans Day is a good time for people to come out and honor veterans and to teach their children about what veterans do.
“It’s also a time to remember that we should be taking care of them when they return,” said Flint.
“We have our freedom because of veterans,” said Mooney.
“People should understand that there is more to us than nice looking uniforms,” said Flint. “It’s really what’s in the uniform that people should get to know.”