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Towns observe Memorial Day

Update: East Longmeadow's Memorial Day Committee released their information May 15. The parade, weather permitting, will step off at 10:50 a.m. at the East Longmeadow High School, proceeding to the center of town. Local and state dignitaries will place wreaths and military honors will be conducted. Following the outdoor program, all participants and observers will be invited to the auditorium for the remainder of the formal program. All veterans' graves in East Longmeadow will receive U.S. flags prior to Memorial Day, under the direction of Town Veterans Graves Office John F. Dixon.

Elisabeth Hatch

Staff Intern

Memorial Day is the day that Americans take time out of their busy schedules to honor the men and women of the armed forces who protect our country, and reflect on the memory of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Different towns in the area plan special events in order to give recognition to the veterans who so rightly deserve it.

The town of East Longmeadow conducts a small ceremony at the high school, followed by a parade to the rotary in the center of town with local veterans groups. The selectmen will be in attendance and will read the names of the past veterans.

"The town of Hampden holds a parade and memorial service on Memorial Day each year," explained Pam Courtney, administrative assistant to the Board of Selectmen.

People invited to march in the annual parade include the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and any veteran, the local Girl and Boy Scouts, the town sports teams, and the Police and Fire departments, Courtney said.

"After the parade they march down to the town common and have the ceremony and put a wreath on the statue," Courtney said.

The town's Fire Department also hosts a hot dog social at the station after the ceremony. Everyone is invited and they will be able to enjoy hot dogs, chips, soda, and ice cream.

The town of Wilbraham hosts a Memorial Day celebration on May 28, at the Glendale Cemetery. This is a tradition that dates back to the 1880s.

The town is invited to go and honor the Veterans and then stay for refreshments held in the church.

Memorial Day this year is Monday, May 29 and all towns encourage their residents to observe the holiday, and honor their veterans.