How to celebrate Memorial Day in 2024

Kaden James and Rosco Palmer attach flowers to the street sign near where veteran William Carl Muller lived in South Deerfield. They and other members of the Frontier Regional School baseball team walked the village to put flowers on street signs honoring veterans for Memorial Day.

Kaden James and Rosco Palmer attach flowers to the street sign near where veteran William Carl Muller lived in South Deerfield. They and other members of the Frontier Regional School baseball team walked the village to put flowers on street signs honoring veterans for Memorial Day. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 05-23-2024 12:22 PM

Modified: 05-23-2024 7:45 PM

Editor’s note: The following is a collection of Memorial Day events happening across Franklin County and the North Quabbin region. Know of an event that wasn’t included? Email information to


A Memorial Day ceremony will be held on Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m. at the flag by Town Hall, followed by a parade that will proceed down Main Street (Route 116) to Plain Cemetery. After a service at the memorial, the parade will return to Town Hall. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved inside Town Hall on the third floor. Route 116 will be shut down during the procession.


A contingent of local veterans will hold services at the following locations and times on Monday, May 27:

■8:45 a.m. — Vietnam Veterans of America memorial at the Uptown Common.

■9 a.m. — Athol Area YMCA.

■9:15 a.m. — Silver Lake Cemetery.

From the cemetery, the procession will march to the center of Athol, stopping at Starrett Bridge, where a wreath will be thrown into the Millers River. The group will then continue to Veterans Park at the corner of Main and Exchange streets for a final ceremony, including speakers. Organizations participating in the morning’s activities include Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 340, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 46, AMVETS Post 793, American Legion Post 102, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 650 and Marine Corps League Pequoig Detachment 1168.


The Memorial Day parade will kick off on Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m. from the former site of the Four Leaf Clover Restaurant on South Street and proceed to Center Cemetery. The program will feature music from the Falltown String Band, the Pioneer Valley Regional School band, and students from Bernardston and Northfield elementary schools. There will be a presentation from representatives of Courageous Strides, a therapeutic riding program. Steve Wilson of the Bernardston Unitarian Church will be the keynote speaker.


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The annual Hat and Socks Parade, dating back to the 1950s, will step off on Monday, May 27, at 8 a.m. from the Historical Society at the corner of Upper Street and Charlemont Road. The procession will feature the Color Guard and the Shelburne Falls Military Band.


The town’s Memorial Day ceremony will be held on the South Deerfield Common on Monday, May 27, at 8:45 a.m, with a parade starting at Frontier Regional School at 8:30 a.m. The presentation of the memorial wreath will be presented by Capt. Steven Debryn-Kops and Gold Star mother Kathleen Belanger. Deerfield Elementary School students Conner Sheldon and Elliana DiNardo will read the Gettysburg Address. Following the program, the public is invited to join the Color Guard and Hale-Clapp Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3295 in honoring military members in South Deerfield’s cemeteries. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in Frontier’s auditorium.


The town will celebrate Memorial Day on Sunday, May 26, beginning at the Gill Church at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony will continue at the Gill war memorials with a service, a flag raising by the Northfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9874, a gun salute by the Marine Corps League Oak Ridge Marine Corp Detachment, and will conclude with taps.


The Upper Pioneer Valley Veterans’ Services District will recognize Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m. starting with a parade and then a ceremony.

The parade route starts at Greenfield Middle School, travels down Federal Street, stops at Federal Street Cemetery for the presentation of a remembrance wreath, turns left onto Maple Street, turns right onto Franklin Street, turns right onto Main Street, stops at the Mexican-American War statue at the Leavitt-Hovey House, turns left to the Greenfield Common for remembrance wreath presentations, then concludes at Veterans Mall for a short ceremony.

This year’s ceremony features Jeffrey Cochran, veterans’ service officer for the Upper Pioneer Valley Veterans’ Services District, as the guest speaker. A proclamation will also be presented by Mayor Ginny Desorgher.

The Upper Pioneer Valley Veterans’ Services District welcomes veteran groups and other organizations interested in marching in the parade to call 413-772-1571.


A Memorial Day service will be held on the Montague Center Common on Sunday, May 26, at 11:15 a.m. The event is sponsored by the Montague Center Fire Association. Local veterans, firefighters and church members will honor our fallen veterans.


There will be ceremonies at Center Cemetery, Mountain View Cemetery and North New Salem Cemetery starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday. There will be some opening words by Selectboard Chair Susan Cloutier at Center Cemetery, a brief sermon by the Rev. James Albert Ewen of the Central Congregational Church, a singing of “My Country, ’Tis of Thee,” a reading of names of who served in a war and is buried there, a laying of a wreath and a performance of taps. This will be repeated (except for the opening remarks) at Mountain View Cemetery. The plan is to then go on to North New Salem Cemetery, where the Gettysburg Address will be read by the Rev. Ted Boren of the North New Salem Congregational Church with a brief sermon, reading of the names and performance of taps. Wreaths are also laid at Branch Bridge Cemetery and Styles Cemetery, but there are no other ceremonies.


The Northfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9874 is holding a Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 27. 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 formal 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 that recognizes service members from all branches. Participants include the Recreation Department, the Council on Aging, the Police Department, the Fire Department and the Boy Scouts.


The Orange American Legion Post 172 has Memorial Day ceremonies scheduled for Monday, May 27. At 7:30 a.m., Legion participants will meet at the downtown fire station on Water Street, where they will gear up and proceed to Jones Cemetery in North Orange. They will reach Jones Cemetery at 8 a.m., North Orange Cemetery at 8:20 a.m. and Tully Cemetery at 9 a.m. There will be refreshments at the fire station in Tully at approximately 9:45 a.m. Veterans’ graves at all cemeteries will be flagged on Friday and Saturday. The newly formed Junior ROTC program at Ralph C. Mahar Regional School is helping this year.


Memorial Day services will be held on Monday, May 27, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and sponsored by Petersham American Legion Post 415. The parade will begin on West Street at the flagpole. Music will be provided by the Petersham Brass Band and the grand marshal will be Mark Ellis. The Officer of the Day will be Post Commander Larry Robinson. There will be services at the flagpole, Village Cemetery and at the memorial trees. The flag will be flown in honor of Jesse Cole, Robert Goodfellow and Robert Thayer Jr.


The town will celebrate Memorial Day with a parade on Sunday, May 26, at 9 a.m. on the common, featuring the Gardner Minutemen Pathfinder Drum Corps, Girl Scout Troop 30908, Boy Scout Troop 39 and Cub Scout Pack 39. In addition, there will be a reading of veterans’ names from the Revolutionary War. Light refreshments to be served at the end of the program.


A parade will start at 10 a.m. outside of McCusker’s Market on Monday, May 27. The first stage of the parade will stop at either the Iron Bridge or the Bridge of Flowers. This will occur at or around 10:10 a.m. After that, the parade will proceed to the Arms Library, where there will be a dedication to the women and men of the United States armed forces. The final stage of the parade will end at the Arms Cemetery for the Memorial Day ceremony. This will happen at around 10:40 a.m. In the event of rain, proceedings will be moved inside Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School.


The town’s Memorial Day parade and ceremony kicks off on Friday, May 24, at 6 p.m. at the veterans memorial outside Town Hall. From there, the parade will travel down South Main Street to Riverside Cemetery, where more ceremonies will take place. The parade is expected to return to the center of town at around 7:15 p.m.


A Memorial Day service will be held on Saturday, May 25, at 1 p.m., at Warwick Town Hall. Refreshments to follow.


The town’s Memorial Day events, organized by the Whately Grange, will begin on Sunday, May 26, with a parade at 11:15 a.m. at the First Congregational Church that will proceed to the nearby cemetery before returning to the war memorial outside Town Hall. The Frontier Regional School band will provide marching music and the Veterans of Foreign Wars will lead the parade. The Whately Grange will also be honoring one of the town’s oldest veterans with the National Grange Patriots Award. Dusti Dufresne will provide a medley of military songs, while Grange President Ruth Leahey will serve as the program’s speaker.

Following the ceremony, the Whately Historical Society is hosting a spring festival until 2 p.m. The Historical Society’s museum exhibits will be on display with food and drinks available from Tom’s Long Hot Dogs. Snow’s Dairy has donated ice cream.