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Memorial Day ceremonies remember those who died

  • Members of North County Line Dancers perform in the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley last May.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Members of North County Line Dancers perform in the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley last May.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • A tractor pulls a wagon from Barstow's Dairy Store and Bakery during the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley.JERREY ROBERTS

    A tractor pulls a wagon from Barstow's Dairy Store and Bakery during the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • A group of girls reach for Tootsie Rolls throw from a wagon during the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley.JERREY ROBERTS

    A group of girls reach for Tootsie Rolls throw from a wagon during the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Don Dion, from Double D quarter horse farm in Hadley, who dressed as the Lone Ranger, rides in the Hadley Memorial Day parade Sunday.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Don Dion, from Double D quarter horse farm in Hadley, who dressed as the Lone Ranger, rides in the Hadley Memorial Day parade Sunday.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Members of Hadley Daisy Girl Scout Troop 1161 walk in the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Members of Hadley Daisy Girl Scout Troop 1161 walk in the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • The Hopkins Academy Band marched in the Hadley Memorial Day parade Sunday and in the Amherst parade on Monday. At right, Amherst Boy Scout Troop 504 Scout Master Russell Kosuda, left, talks with Amherst Boy Scout Troop 500 Scout Master Peter Crowley prior to the start of the Amherst parade. Kosuda and Crowley walked with their dogs Youkilis and Fletcher in the parade.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS<br/>SARAH CROSBY

    The Hopkins Academy Band marched in the Hadley Memorial Day parade Sunday and in the Amherst parade on Monday. At right, Amherst Boy Scout Troop 504 Scout Master Russell Kosuda, left, talks with Amherst Boy Scout Troop 500 Scout Master Peter Crowley prior to the start of the Amherst parade. Kosuda and Crowley walked with their dogs Youkilis and Fletcher in the parade.
    JERREY ROBERTS
    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Henry Latham, center, Richard Buckowski, right, and others fire a salute during Memorial Day ceremonies Sunday at American Legion Post 271 in Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Henry Latham, center, Richard Buckowski, right, and others fire a salute during Memorial Day ceremonies Sunday at American Legion Post 271 in Hadley.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Marianne Wanczyk and her granddaughter, Avery Fillio, 2, wait for a color guard to begin at American Legion Post 271 before the Hadley Memorial Day parade last May.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Marianne Wanczyk and her granddaughter, Avery Fillio, 2, wait for a color guard to begin at American Legion Post 271 before the Hadley Memorial Day parade last May.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS

    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Fran Barber, of Belchertown, front, stands with other members of a color guard from American Legion Post 239 during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Fran Barber, of Belchertown, front, stands with other members of a color guard from American Legion Post 239 during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • John Mumper, of Ware Cub Scout Pack 239, holds a flag during Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    John Mumper, of Ware Cub Scout Pack 239, holds a flag during Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Leslie Squires, of Belchertown, left, who is a member VFW Post 8428, salutes as American Legion Auxiliary 239 members Shirely Barber, center, and Jeannette Desilets, both of Belchertown, hold their hands over their hearts during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Leslie Squires, of Belchertown, left, who is a member VFW Post 8428, salutes as American Legion Auxiliary 239 members Shirely Barber, center, and Jeannette Desilets, both of Belchertown, hold their hands over their hearts during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Francis Rucki, from left, Lonny Murphy and Mike Domey, all of Ware, salute during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Francis Rucki, from left, Lonny Murphy and Mike Domey, all of Ware, salute during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Larry Holbrook, of Ware, raises the flag during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Larry Holbrook, of Ware, raises the flag during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Michael Bauer, far left, directs the Belchertown Community Band during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Michael Bauer, far left, directs the Belchertown Community Band during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Michael Bauer, far left, directs the Belchertown Community Band during a Memorial Day program last May at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/><br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Michael Bauer, far left, directs the Belchertown Community Band during a Memorial Day program last May at Quabbin Park Cemetery.

    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Members of North County Line Dancers perform in the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley last May.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • A tractor pulls a wagon from Barstow's Dairy Store and Bakery during the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley.JERREY ROBERTS
  • A group of girls reach for Tootsie Rolls throw from a wagon during the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Don Dion, from Double D quarter horse farm in Hadley, who dressed as the Lone Ranger, rides in the Hadley Memorial Day parade Sunday.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Members of Hadley Daisy Girl Scout Troop 1161 walk in the Memorial Day parade Sunday in Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • The Hopkins Academy Band marched in the Hadley Memorial Day parade Sunday and in the Amherst parade on Monday. At right, Amherst Boy Scout Troop 504 Scout Master Russell Kosuda, left, talks with Amherst Boy Scout Troop 500 Scout Master Peter Crowley prior to the start of the Amherst parade. Kosuda and Crowley walked with their dogs Youkilis and Fletcher in the parade.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS<br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Henry Latham, center, Richard Buckowski, right, and others fire a salute during Memorial Day ceremonies Sunday at American Legion Post 271 in Hadley.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Marianne Wanczyk and her granddaughter, Avery Fillio, 2, wait for a color guard to begin at American Legion Post 271 before the Hadley Memorial Day parade last May.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • JERREY ROBERTS
  • Fran Barber, of Belchertown, front, stands with other members of a color guard from American Legion Post 239 during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • John Mumper, of Ware Cub Scout Pack 239, holds a flag during Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Leslie Squires, of Belchertown, left, who is a member VFW Post 8428, salutes as American Legion Auxiliary 239 members Shirely Barber, center, and Jeannette Desilets, both of Belchertown, hold their hands over their hearts during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Francis Rucki, from left, Lonny Murphy and Mike Domey, all of Ware, salute during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Larry Holbrook, of Ware, raises the flag during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Michael Bauer, far left, directs the Belchertown Community Band during a Memorial Day program Sunday at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Michael Bauer, far left, directs the Belchertown Community Band during a Memorial Day program last May at Quabbin Park Cemetery.<br/><br/>JERREY ROBERTS

A lone bugle sounded out across the cemetery. Over 300 people stood in silence listening to the sound of taps, the traditional bugle call for military funerals. The people gathered were veterans, politicians, Boy Scouts and town residents.

Five members of the American Legion fired blanks out over the cemetery, a jarring sound that startled the children standing with their parents among the gravestones.

It’s a scene that played out across the country Sunday — including the towns of Belchertown, Hatfield, and Hadley — where people gathered to commemorate America’s fallen soldiers in traditional Memorial Day ceremonies. Parades, salutes and the playing of taps were common as communities combined the somber remembrances of the military dead with a festive celebration of national pride.

Belchertown

Belchertown’s Memorial Day Parade began at 11 a.m. in the Quabbin Park Cemetery. The parade was led by members of the Belchertown American Legion, veterans dressed in full military uniform and carrying flags and banners. They were followed by members of local historical societies, Boy Scout troops and the Friends of the Quabbin.

The parade at Quabbin Park is unique because it is the only parade in the area that celebrates both America’s fallen soldiers and the sacrifice of the four towns that were flooded to create the Quabbin Reservoir in 1938. The towns of Dana, Enfield, Prescott and Greenwich were unincorporated to create the reservoir which provides the drinking water for Boston. The dead buried in their town cemeteries were later transported to the Quabbin Park Cemetery.

“This event blends the historical Memorial Day services with a recognition of the sacrifices made by members of the Swift River Valley,” said Cliff Reed, a Shutesbury resident who helped organize the parade with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

This blending was showcased in the memorial service following the parade when family members and descendants of those buried in the Quabbin Park cemetery were escorted by veterans and current members of the military to place wreaths on five monuments from the flooded towns.

Bob Wilder, a former U.S. Marine and member of the American Legion, was among those who helped place the wreaths on the monuments.

“My ancestors’ names are on the memorials,” said Wilder. “I come from the Quabbin. This is a Memorial day for the veterans, well-represented by the monuments here, but it’s also a chance for people in the valley to come together and see old friends.”

Wilder lived in Enfield and has participated in the parade for the past 15 years. This year Wilder helped members of the Cooley family place a wreath on the monument for Dana.

The largest monument, transported to Quabbin Park from the Enfield Cemetery, commemorates soldiers lost at Gettysburg during the Civil War. Memorial Day ceremonies date back to the Civil War when graves of Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated to honor the lives lost.

The event was led by Belchertown resident Keith Poulin, the Belchertown Community Band played four songs and the Gettysburg Address was read by Boy Scout Richard DelValle. The event was organized by the Veterans Council of Belchertown and the Belchertown chapter of the American Legion.

The ceremony ended about noon when the skies finally opened and cemetery filled with a cold rain.

Hatfield

The Hatfield Memorial Day Parade marched down Prospect Street starting at noon. The skies were cloudy and the wind whipped the clothes of the marchers, who represented the Hatfield American Legion, Girl Scouts and the Smith Academy marching band. The parade was followed by five members of the Easthampton Veterans Group on motorcycles.

The parade ended on the lawn of the Hatfield Memorial Town Hall, where wooden chairs were set up for veterans. A bell rang as Legion member Giles Desmond read the names of service members from Hatfield who had died in the past year.

Students Lauren Bradford and Nick April, respectively, were the runner-up and winner of the Smith Academy Declamations. Bradford read from Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech delivered in 1775, and April read Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” of 1863.

Speaker Paul Labbee, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, described the memorial stones that sit outside the Hatfield Town Hall. Each stone has a plaque listing the names of Hatfield soldiers who died in various wars.

“The first four stones are all very similar,” said Labbee. “The first four conflicts were on foreign soil. And they had an ending. The fifth stone — the war on terror — that war is here. And there’s no ending date.”

Labbee referred to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks and this year Boston Marathon bombings in a speech that encouraged Hatfield residents to thank local veterans for their services.

Hadley

Hadley’s celebration was largely festive, with a parade that stopped traffic on Route 9 as members of local groups marched from the American Legion to the common.

Crowds gathered on the edge of the street to cheer and catch candy thrown from yellow fire trucks, antique cars and farm tractors.

“Today’s parade was actually pretty small,” said Jean Baxter, one of the organizers. “I think the weather scared people off. But everyone turns out for this. Every group in town.”

At the very end of the parade, Legion members held a brief service in which they fired blanks over the common while the Hopkins Academy Marching Band played taps. The parade was followed by a barbecue in the basement of the American Legion which was open to all members of the Hadley community.

Related

Local commemorations on Memorial Day

Monday, August 19, 2013

AMHERST — Parade MONDAY beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Amherst Common and proceeding along North Pleasant Street to War Memorial on Triangle Street for ceremonies at Veterans War Memorial Pool at 10 a.m. Speaker: Dr. Ernie Price. Amherst Historical Society offers West Cemetery Ramble with Bob Drinkwater at 2 p.m. Meet at cemetery gate behind The Toy Box, 201 N. …

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