Memorial Day observances tonight and Monday (Careful where you step)

Above: Memorial Day observances begin this evening when the public is invited to help replace flags at veterans’ graves. (Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

The Southborough community is again invited to participate in the town’s traditional Memorial Day services.

Flag replacement for Memorial Day 2017 - Girl Scouts - by Beth MeloAs usual, residents, veterans and scouts are encouraged to help mark veterans’ graves with fresh flags in preparation for the holiday. That is this evening, Friday May 24th, at 6:00 pm.

The event takes place at the Rural Cemetery on Cordaville Road. Volunteers should meet in front of the Maintenance Building at the back of the cemetery.

Then, on Monday morning, veterans, local officials, and scouts will march in the annual parade. The morning begins with veterans invited to gather at the VFW/Legion Post Headquarters (at the Community House, 28 Main Street). That gathering takes place at 8:15 am this year.

Participants for the 9:00 am parade should gather in advance in the Main St. Bank parking lot (corner of Rt. 30 and Newton St). Groups traditionally joining veterans on the march are the Trottier Band, Boys Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Algonquin Regional High School Band.

Following the Parade (by Allan Bezanson) At 9:00 am, the parade proceeds down Main Street, then to the cemeteries and memorials. Some families wave at the passing parade from Main Street. But many actually follow along to help honor veterans.

Commander Steve Whynot, VFW Post 3276 and Commander Dan Kolenda, American Legion Post 161 encourage the public to do the latter:

Following tradition, we will pay honor and respect to those Veterans who have been laid to rest at the Rural Cemetery, Burnett Cemetery and Revolutionary War Cemetery.

We’ll also pay tribute at the Civil War Monument to honor those who died during the War Between States.

Observances will end at the All Wars Memorial with the traditional speakers, singers from Algonquin Regional High School and finish with our National Anthem.

stone wall work in process at All Wars Memorial on the Common (image edited from photo by Cassie Melo)
(click to enlarge)

Unfortunately, this year, some portions of the service will require careful stepping, due to the Main St Reconstruction project in progress.

Crews have been digging alongside Main Street for drainage work. And there’s a bit of a mess around the All Wars Memorial. Workers have begun work on the historic stone wall at the Common – to remove and store the capstones and dig and pour a foundation for the wall.

Earlier this week, the Town updated:

There will be no work on Memorial Day. Please be mindful of construction fencing and warning devices (i.e. cones, barrels), cautioning people about trip/fall hazards, while participating in the Town’s Memorial Day activities.

Updated (5/24/19 10:20 am): Recalling that the Algonquin band hadn’t been able to make it to the parade every year, I originally posted they are sometimes in the parade. Commander Whynot commented to clarify that, thanks to very supportive leadership, they’ve only ever missed 1 or 2 dates over the years.

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Steve Whynot
3 years ago

Beth – Please know that the Algonquin Band has only missed being with us on Memorial Day because of rain and the concern for the instruments. In the 20+ years I’ve been involved – I think they have only missed 1 maybe 2 dates. Denis Wren and now Amy Collins have been 100% supportive of Memorial Day and we are extremely pleased that they join us. The characterization of “sometimes” is not quite correct.

In recent years – we’ve been fortunate to also have the Trottier Middel School Band join us as well under the direction of Jamie Clarke. They are a both excellent!!!!

Steve Whynot
3 years ago


What a fantastic turn out today to honor those who have gone before us and sacrificed the ultimate – in order for us to have the Freedoms we have today.

Rather than risk not mentioning a specific person…Our observance could not have been conducted without the contributions of many….

I simply want to THANK everyone who made this day a success and a fitting tribute that those who paid the ultimate- deserved and earned.

Thank you all !!!!!!!

Steve Whynot, Commander, VFW Post -3276

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