Memorial Day events to honor the fallen

  • Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, left, and former city councilor Gene Tacy place a wreath in the Park Street Cemetery during a ceremony following the 152nd Florence Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27, 2019. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/27/2021 2:08:44 PM

Memorial Day events are planned in several area communities on the annual day of remembrance to honor those who died in military service for the United States. 

The events this year will be limited due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19. Although restrictions are being lifted on May 29 by Gov. Charlie Baker, organizers said they did not have enough time to schedule larger events since the governor's announcement last week.

In Northampton, the 153rd Memorial Day parade will begin at 8 a.m. It will consist of vehicles driven by members of the Veterans Council of Northampton, including the VFW Post 8006 leading the procession with the color guard. Organizers for the parade said there will be no performance of the high school band or other student groups because vaccinations only recently began for youths. 

The parade will start at Trinity Row and proceed directly to Park Street Cemetery where there will be a ceremony to "honor the sacrifice and service of our deceased men and women in uniform who endured incredible sacrifices." 

The Veterans Council of Northampton and the Northampton Department of Veteran’s Services ask attendees to look for designated areas to stand and to practice social distancing at the cemetery. 

"We look forward to next year with a return to our traditional parade and observance that will be fully open to the public and participation of all groups and organizations is highly recommended," organizers said in an announcement. 

Amherst, Hadley and Easthampton

Veterans Service Organizations of Amherst announced there will be a ceremony to honor those who died in military service at Amherst War Memorial Pool on Matoon Street at 11 a.m. There will be no parade this year due to COVID-19, organizers stated, nor will there be performances by the Amherst Pelham Regional High School Chorale. Organizers ask attendees to observe the designated areas to stand on the grounds behind the War Memorial Pool during the ceremony. 

Prior to Memorial Day, the Hadley Council on Aging is hosting a Hadley Veterans "Drive by Coffee and Donuts" on Friday, May 28 at 1 p.m. at the Senior Center. Organizers ask participants to call ahead at (413) 586-4023. 

On Memorial Day, the Hadley American Legion Post 271 will be holding a ceremony at 2 p.m. by the flag in front of the Legion. There will be a raising and lowering of the flag, a gun salute, and words of remembrance. Organizers said the traditional big town parade will return in 2022.

In Easthampton, the American Legion Post 224 and VFW Post 3342 will visit monuments throughout the city and have a wreath-laying ceremony at each stop. The event starts at 8 a.m. at the American Legion at 190 Pleasant St. and ends at the Emily Williston Library around 9:30 a.m. 

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com


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