How to celebrate Memorial Day in 2023

Published: 05-25-2023 3:54 PM


■A Memorial Day ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 29, on the Town Common. In the event of rain, the ceremony will move inside Town Hall.

■The Ashfield Historical Society will be hosting an art show. The “Art of Ashfield” series will begin with Jackie Cooper’s World War II exhibit titled “Veteran’s Voices.” The show will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, at the Historical Society museum, 457 Main St. Starting at 11 a.m., Cooper will host a question-and-answer session about her exhibit. “Veteran’s Voices” will be on display through the month of June, and is available for viewing on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.


■A Memorial Day ceremony will be held on Monday, May 29. Flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies will be held as follows: 8:45 a.m. at VVA Park on Starrett Avenue; 9 a.m. at Phillips Park, across from the Uptown Common; and 9:15 a.m. at VFW Park, adjacent to the YMCA. At 9:45 a.m., parade participants will assemble around the flagpole at Silver Lake Cemetery. At 10 a.m., ceremonies will begin under the direction of Athol Veterans Council President Brian Dodge. The guest speaker will be U.S. Army veteran William Wriley. American Legion Auxiliary members will place a wreath, while the American Legion Firing Squad fires a gun salute, followed by the playing of taps by an Athol High School/Middle School band member. A salute to the flag will be led by Ed Laford, commander of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 340 of Athol. The parade grand marshal is Vietnam veteran Ronald Ferguson. After the ceremony, the parade will proceed down Silver Lake Street to Crescent Street. There will be a brief stop at the bridge over the Millers River where the Anchor Wreath will be placed to honor veterans lost at sea, followed by a gun salute. The parade will continue down Main Street, ending at Athol Veterans Park on the corner of Main and Exchange streets. In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be canceled and the 10 a.m. ceremony will move inside Memorial Hall.

■A separate ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 28, at 11:15 a.m. North Quabbin Veterans Outreach will hold the fifth annual “We Remember…” public display on the Uptown Common to honor late service members. The names will be read in addition to the honor guard, playing of taps and flag folding.


■The traditional Hat and Socks Parade is back. Those marching will be stepping off at the corner of Upper Street and Old Upper Street at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 29. Veterans are asked to wear as much of their uniforms that still fit them — even if it is only the hat and socks. Along with veterans, the Shelburne Falls Military Band will march. Those wishing to observe the parade are asked to gather on the Town Common in front of Mary Lyon Church.


■The parade will kick off from the Falltown Grill parking lot at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 29, and will proceed to Center Cemetery for the annual program. Wreaths will be placed at the veterans memorial and Cushman Library along the way. Jeff Neipp will be the keynote speaker and the program will feature music from Dawn Billington, the Falltown String Band and the Bernardston Elementary School band under the direction of Lynette Snedeker. The Veterans Club on Hartwell Street will be open following the program for a chicken barbecue. Burgers and hot dogs will also be available.


■A ceremony will start at 10 a.m. on the Iron Bridge on Adamsville Road on Monday, May 29. Attendees will march to West Branch Cemetery.


■A ceremony will be held on at the South Deerfield Town Common on Monday, May 29, at 8:45 a.m. Memorial Day Committee member John Cycz will welcome everyone, Gold Star mother Kathleen Belanger will speak and former U.S. Navy Capt. Julie Chalfant will conduct the roll call of fallen heroes. The Frontier Regional School band will be on hand, as well as members of the Hale Clapp Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3295. A parade to the Brookside, St. Stanislaus, Holy Name of Jesus and Sugarloaf cemeteries will follow the ceremony. At each cemetery, a prayer, and a military salute of echo taps will be performed. Refreshments will be served at Deerfield Town Hall afterward. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in the Frontier auditorium.

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■Another ceremony will be held at Deerfield Academy on Monday, May 29, at 11:10 a.m. under an outdoor tent behind the administration building.


■A service will be held on Sunday, May 28, at 9:30 a.m. at the Gill Church. Those in attendance will sing patriotic hymns and there will be music, a Memorial Day address by Gary Bourbeau, a rose ceremony, a flag-raising by members of Northfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9874, a gun salute by the Marine Corps League Oak Ridge Detachment and a performance of taps at the war memorial.


■The parade and ceremony will be held on Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m. The event will include prayers, the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, the governor’s proclamation as presented by Mayor Roxann Wedegartner and remarks by Upper Pioneer Valley Veterans’ Services District Deputy Director Stacey Geneczko. Parade participants will line up at 9:30 a.m. at Greenfield Middle School, with a parade kick-off time of 10 a.m. The parade will head south on Federal Street for services at the Federal Street Cemetery, honoring those killed in the Revolutionary War; continue south on Federal Street, east on Church Street, south on Franklin Street and west on Main Street, where services for veterans killed in the Spanish-American War will be held at Greenfield Public Library; proceed to the Greenfield Common to pay respects to veterans killed in the Civil War; and continue west on Main Street, ending at the Veterans’ Mall for services honoring those killed in all wars.


■A ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 28, at 9 a.m. at the Town Offices. Flags will be placed at the town cemeteries, beginning with the South Cemetery, starting at 2 p.m.

Montague Center

■The Montague Center Fire Association will commemorate those who served with a ceremony at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 28, on the common. There will be a salute for veterans and a performance of taps, as well as a tribute to Air Force veteran Ronald Laczynski, who had lived in Gill and Montague prior to his death last September.

New Salem

■The town is in need of two people to play taps at the Memorial Day services at the town cemeteries on Sunday, May 28. The town typically has a trumpet player and a trombone player, but could have two trumpet players as well. There is a small stipend for the service. Interested parties should contact Town Coordinator Kathy Neal at 978-544-6437 or


■The Northfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9874 is sponsoring a Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 29. The parade will form at the Trinitarian Congregational Church at 9:30 a.m., with a start time of 10 a.m. The parade will stop at Mill Brook to lay a wreath in commemoration of Navy veterans; at Pentecost Cemetery for a short speech, firing and taps; at Northfield Elementary School where there is a Civil War memorial; and at Town Hall’s war memorial for the laying of a wreath. The Pioneer Valley Regional School band will also participate.


■American Legion Post 172 is organizing volunteers to place flags at cemeteries on Saturday, May 27. Volunteers will meet at 40 Daniel Shays Highway and will be divided between Central and South cemeteries.

■Sunday, May 28, graveside services will be as follows: the West Orange Cemetery for 9 a.m., Holtshire Cemetery at 9:20 a.m. and South Cemetery at 9:40 a.m. The riverside service will be by the Fire Station at 10:30 a.m. The color guard will be off Veterans Park in between the park and the river.

■On Monday, May 29, graveside services will be as follows: Jones Cemetery at 8 a.m. and North Orange Cemetery at 8:20 a.m. Selectboard Chair Tom Smith is expected to speak at a ceremony at Veterans Park at around 11 a.m. There will also be a ceremony at the Tully Cemetery at 9 a.m. With questions, call Deb Barber at 978-939-3396.


■A ceremony will be held on Monday, May 29, at 9:30 a.m. at American Legion Post 415. The event is assisted by the American Legion Auxiliary, Veterans of All Wars, Matrons and Daughters, clergy, Boy Scouts, Frontier Girls, Cub Scouts, Brownies, Petersham Little League, schoolchildren and citizens. Music will be provided by the Petersham Brass Band. Ceremonies will be held at the flag pole on West Street, Village Cemetery, Memorial Trees and South Common. At the common, the National Anthem will be sung, the flag raised and the colors retired. The memorial flag is being flown in memory of Conrad H. Buelow, Kenneth Miller and Robert W. Recos. Mark Ellis serves as parade marshal.


■The Memorial Committee will host its annual event on Monday, May 29. The event includes a parade and a memorial in Arms Cemetery at the Civil War monument. There will be performances from the Shelburne Falls Military Band, a color guard salute and speeches from veterans. People participating in the event will gather at 9:30 a.m. in front of McCusker’s Market and the parade begins at 10 a.m. Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

Turners Falls

■A ceremony will take place at Soldiers Memorial Park at 10:15 a.m. on Monday, May 29. There will be an 11th Hour Ceremony from the Montague Elks Lodge and short speeches from veterans.


■A parade will be held on Friday, May 26, at 6 p.m., with a route starting at the Town Offices and ending at Riverside Cemetery. A ceremony will be held at the cemetery, with the parade returning to town at approximately 7:15. In the event of rain, the ceremony will take place at Sunderland Elementary School.


■A parade, organized by the Whately Grange, kicks off in the center of town on Sunday, May 28, at 11 a.m., with a special dedication ceremony taking place at Veterans Park afterward. The parade will start at Center Cemetery and end in front of Town Hall. The town will dedicate six new plaques in Veterans Park to honor the military service of residents spanning from the French and Indian War to present day. The plaques not only honor those who served in wars, but also include those who served active duty during peacetime and those who served in the National Guard and reserves. Whately Historical Society Archivist Derek Smith, Jim Ross, Lawrence Ashman, Ray Billel, Alan Thackeray and Historical Society President Neal Abraham all contributed to research. Following the dedication, the Historical Society’s annual spring festival kicks off with food, pollinator and woodworking demonstrations, museum exhibits, free ice cream and a showing of Frontier Community Access Television’s 250th anniversary video.