Local communities plan Veterans Day observances
KEVIN GUTTING Raphael Goldberg, 6, of Wellesley, and his grandfather Cave Morris, top right, of Florence watch the 181st Engineer Battalion of the Massachusetts National Guard, based in Florence, march down Park Street in the Florence Memorial Day Parade Monday. Purchase photo reprints »
Around the Pioneer Valley, communities will observe Veterans Day with ceremonies, parades and other events this weekend. The following is a list of events being held in Hampshire County cities and towns.
The local Veterans Council will hold its annual Veterans Day program Sunday at 10:15 a.m. on the North Common on South Pleasant Street.
The program will include a speech by Victor Nunez, a UMass student and vice president and director of veterans outreach at the nonprofit Veterans Advocacy Services.
Refreshments will be available at the VFW at 457 Main St. following the ceremony.
A parade will step off from Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. and proceed to the Town Common for a ceremony. A second ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. in the auditorium of Belchertown High School at 142 Springfield Road.
At 10:30 a.m., Veterans from American Legion Post 224 and VFW Post 3422 will proceed from the Legion on Pleasant Street to a wreath-laying ceremony at the Old Town Hall Civil War memorial. They will repeat the ceremony at the Brookside Cemetery veterans monument and at the monuments to veterans near Emily Williston Memorial Library at 11 a.m.
The main ceremonies, which are also open to the public, will take place at the Legion Post at 11:30 a.m.
A Veterans Day ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. at the veterans memorial in front of the Granby Free Public Library. The event will include speakers and a wreath-laying.
All are welcome to attend a special Veterans Day service at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Wesley United Methodist Church at 98 North Main St. Speakers at the service include Vietnam veterans David Bressem and Frank Whitney, as well as Elise Tripp, author of the books “American Veterans on War” and “Surviving Iraq.”
American Legion Post 334 will host a “Salute to Veterans” event Saturday. There will be a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. and a turkey dinner at 6:30 p.m., followed by dancing to the tunes of Sounds Unlimited until 10 p.m. Tickets cost $15.
A parade steps off from Lampron Park on Bridge Street at noon and processes to Memorial Hall and Pulaski Park for a ceremony. At the ceremony, Col. James Keefe of the Air National Guard will give a speech, Mayor David J. Narkewicz will issue a proclamation, and music will be provided by the Northamptones and the Northamton High School band.
On Monday, the federal observance of Veterans Day, a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at the chapel of the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System in Leeds. The annual memorial service is open to the public and will include music and a reading of names of late veterans.
Two new memorials for veterans of wars in the 18th and 19th centuries will be dedicated during a Veterans Day ceremony in front of Town Hall at 2 p.m.
The ceremony will include Revolutionary War re-enactors and comments from Select Board member Jacqueline Sears, American Legion Post 168 Commander Richard LeClerc and resident Barry Searle, who will read a letter his ancestor wrote while serving in the Civil War.
A Veterans Day exhibit created by Southampton veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Borucki is also on display at the Edwards Public Library.
The public is invited to a Veterans Day program at 11 a.m. beside the veterans monuments in front of Town Hall at 116 Main St.
On Nov. 17, veterans will be honored and attendees can hear speaker Bill Glenny talk about his experiences being a cell guard at the Nuremberg Trials that followed World War II. The talk, followed by a discussion and refreshments, takes place from 10 a.m. to noon at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 319 Granby Road. For reservations call 413-533-4092 or 413-532-1998 and leave a name and number of people attending.
The Veterans Day ceremony will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial at 6 Main St. The keynote speaker is Edmund Stasz, who served as a fighter pilot in World War II.