Walpole holds Memorial Day observances
At the stroke of noon on Memorial Day, the American and Massachusetts flags at the town common were raised from half-mast to full mast, fulfilling a gubernatorial executive order meant to honor veterans.
That act marked the start of the town’s observances, commemorating those lost in service to their country. The ceremony featured speeches by local officials and elected representatives, as well as the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem, the reading of the poem “In Flanders Fields” and the honoring of veterans lost over the past year.
Town Veteran Service Officer Jon Cogan officiated over the ceremony, noting the day was one of reflection and remembrance - a way to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Veterans Committee Chairman John Robinson spoke of the National Moment of Remembrance, which was established in 2000 and encourages Americans to take a minute to solemnly consider those who had sacrificed for their freedoms. That minute - at 3 p.m. - was chosen because it was a time when many Americans were making use of those liberties, he said.
Fellow committee member Donna Summers spoke in remembrance of Joe Denneen, a longtime member of the group and Marine Corps veteran - his friendship and long service to the town were recalled. She further spoke of the history of the holiday, noting that it had been established as Decoration Day, a way to honor the Civil War dead.
State Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, said he was grateful to see so many people in attendance at the observances. He called on those present to remember veterans not just on Memorial Day, but every day - noting that many face serious issues when they return from service.
“While many wounds may not be visible to the naked eye, they are equally fatal,” he said. “It is our duty to help heroes every day.”
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