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  • Writer's pictureCathy Hertler

Memorial Day isn’t just an opportunity for a barbecue or beach trip

Fort Devens Post Cemetery
Fort Devens Post Cemetery - Devens, MA

Memorial Day isn’t just an opportunity for a barbecue or beach trip. It’s a day honoring American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Sadly, less than half of Americans truly know what the meaning of Memorial Day is. More than 1.1 Million Soldiers died in war. That is 1.1 Million men and woman who fought for your freedoms so you can have that BBQ or beach trip.

We all live busy lives and while we all should know Memorial Day is important, doing even little things to commemorate the day often alludes us. A great way to honor these men and  woman and to show appreciation for our freedom is to join in one of the many events happening in your area. 

How can I honor them, you say??? Here are a few ideas that you could easily fit into your weekend.

1. You could attend one the many parades or ceremonies that are taking place

  • Billerica- Although the parade may be canceled in Billerica due to Boston Rd construction a ceremony will be taking place On Monday the 29th at 11am in front of the Library.

  • Tewksbury - A ceremony on Monday the 29th that will take place at Tewksbury Cemetery, at 172 East St. That will be followed by the parade at 11 a.m

  • Wilmington - The Memorial Day Parade steps off promptly at 10am from the Market Basket parking lot, down Main St. taking a left on Middlesex Ave. Youth groups end at the Common, while the rest of the parade continues on to the Veterans' Lot at Wildwood Cemetery

  • Burlington - Ceremony scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 29 in the Veterans section of Chestnut Hill Cemetery, 52 Bedford Street.

  • Lexington - Monday May 29th - 10am - Wreath-Laying Walk to each Lexington war memorial (meet at 9:30 AM at driveway to Munroe Cemetery) 11am - Memorial Day Ceremony (Emery Park at Depot Square)

  • Concord - The morning ceremony assembles at Rideout Field on Laws Brook Road at 8:30 a.m. and proceeds to Kenneth Dunn Square for the flag raising and brief ceremony at 9 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., the parade re-assembles at Keyes Road for an 11 a.m. step-off for the afternoon ceremonies. The parade proceeds to Monument Square for a brief ceremony and the reading of the Roll of Honor.

  • Bedford - Monday, May 29: The Town of Bedford’s annual Memorial Day events will take place with the following schedule: 8:30 am: American Legion Memorial Ceremonies, 8:45 am: Service at Shawsheen Cemetery, 9:15 am: Shawsheen River Ceremony to honor Navy Veterans, 10:00 am: Old Burying Ground – Revolutionary War Veterans, 10:45 am: Bedford HS Fallen Veterans Memorial Tribute, 11:00 am: Parade begins at Mudge Way to Veterans Memorial Park, with a stop at the World War I Memorial on the Great Road, 11:15 am: Memorial Day Ceremonies at Veterans Memorial Park

2. You could volunteer to place flags at the headstones of veterans - Call your local town veterans department to inquire.

3. You could stop what you are doing at  3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day which is the official National Moment of Remembrance.

4. You can wear a red poppy as they are known as a symbol of remembrance and it is a tradition to wear them to honor those who died in war.

5. You can donate to a charity that supports our veterans

6. You could volunteer at a local VA hospital (Bedford VA is not that far!)

7. Or simply, display your flag! Fly our Red White and Blue Banner in pride. The colors are symbolic. The White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valor, and the Blue above the stripes signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.

Freedom and Liberty will always have a price and it has been paid in blood by so many. It continues to cost the lives of those so eager and willing to pay for it. That cost must be honored lest we may each have to pay an equal price.

Are you aware of how many memorial sites there are in Billerica where you can visit and pay your respect?

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