Remembering the Veterans: Memorial Day 2010

staffwriter

By Sarah Whalen
Memorial Day is a holiday of remembrance for those who have passed in our nation’s Service. Each year, Hopkinton’s Veteran’s Celebration Committee presents a parade and ceremonies, on the last Monday in May.

This holiday has been recognized in Hopkinton for many years, and it’s festivities are well attended by the residents of the town. Veterans are very appreciative to see the number of both children and adults who attend this ceremony.

“For the senior citizens, it gives them comfort to know that their service is appreciated,” said Michael Whalen, a veteran of Hopkinton. He also stated, “For the younger generation, it is an important part of history that they should be aware of”.

The day started off with a gathering at the Evergreen Cemetery in Woodville at 9:45 AM. The ceremony consisted of a few readings, and the placing of a wreath by veteran John Cahill accompanied by a few Boy Scouts.

Andrew Litavis read “The Gettysburg Address”.  Litavis has been reciting “The Gettysburg Address” for two years, making this his third. He is a freshman at George Washington University in DC. The morning gathering ends with echoed playing of taps by Jason DeVeuve and Daniel Cunningham, who will be graduating HHS this June.

The ceremony then proceeded to move uptown to Mayhew Street, to begin the parade. Boy scouts, Girl Scouts, Veterans, parents, children, grandparents, and any others who choose to walk, head to the St. Johns cemetery after a prayer and a wreath placing at the King Memorial flagpole.

Another wreath was placed at the St. Johns cemetery, where there were readings, and another playing of taps, following a gun salute.

The Mount Auburn cemetery was the next stop.  In this area, prayers were read by Pastor Robert Cloutier, Senior Associate Pastor at the First Congregational Church, and Reverend Leigh Dry, Associate Pastor of the Grace United Methodist Church. Andrew Litavis also recited “The Gettysburg Address” for the second, out of three times, of the day.

The final stop of the parade was the Town Common. Master of ceremonies, Suzanne Whalen, led and announced speakers and other events that occured throughout the day. This is Suzanne’s third year as master of ceremonies at the Memorial Day celebration in Hopkinton. She is a freshman at Boston College and has enjoyed being able to participate in this ceremony every year. Wreath placings, readings, prayers and an invocation from Richard Brault took place. The Hopkinton High School band, directed by Steve Yavarow, also played “America the Beautiful”.

The amount of people viewing these ceremonies was very impressive.  All age groups were encouraged to come and learn a bit of history and recognize the Veterans who sacrificed their lives for this country. Michael Whalen gave his strong opinion on Memorial Day, “Memorial day is a day to honor those Veterans who gave their lives in defense of this country and it’s important to include all generations in the celebration of this day”.

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