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Memorial Day observance a four-day event in Pepperell


PEPPERELL — Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3291 has a busy schedule of events planned in the days prior to Memorial Day, culminating in the annual parade on the Monday holiday.

New VFW officers were installed Sunday, May 21, in a 1 p.m. ceremony, with Joseph Moore named as commander, Michael Flaminio as senior vice commander, John Pillsbury as junior vice commander, Peter Kudarauskas as advocate, and Natalie MacCleod as surgeon. Raymond Hurley continues his role as chaplain.

On Friday, May 26, all veterans are invited to participate in visits to schools. The North Middlesex Regional High School’s student council is hosting refreshments for veterans at 8:30 a.m., followed by a Memorial Day service from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. at the school.

That same morning, May 26, Nissitissit Middle School is serving breakfast to veterans from 8 to 9 a.m., leading to discussions about the importance of the day. Peter Fitzpatrick School conducts an indoor and outdoor program from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. followed by refreshments, and from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., veterans will visit classes in Varnum Brook School, partake in lunch, and attend a program in the auditorium at 2 p.m.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, VFW members will mark the graves of Pepperell’s veterans with flags.

Sunday, May 28, is Church Sunday for the veterans. Meeting at the Leighton Street post at 8 a.m., veterans will attend an 8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Church on Tarbell Street, then a 10:30 a.m. worship service at the Community Church on Townsend Street.

Memorial Day, May 29, begins with opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. at St. Joseph Cemetery on Jersey Street, including the presentation of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance. The Rev. Robert Butler and pastoral associate Sister Roberta Rzeznik will conduct Mass at 8 a.m. A wreath will be placed by the VFW commander and Ladies Auxiliary President Laurie Durno, followed by a volley from the firing squad and the playing of Taps.

The parade begins forming on Jersey Street at 8:30 a.m. and begins at 9 a.m.

VFW Senior Vice Commander Flaminio, a Navy veteran, will serve as parade marshal.

First stop is at the Vietnam Memorial to lay wreaths, hear a prayer by Chaplain Hurley and auxiliary chaplain Susan Boklaga, followed by a volley and Taps.

The parade proceeds to Railroad Square where Boy, Girl, Cub Scouts, Brownies, the 4-H Club and Little League join and the parade proceeds to the Main Street Bridge for a wreath laying in the Nashua River, a prayer by the Rev. Irving Cook, a volley and Taps. Next stop is Walton Cemetery on Park Street for a wreath laying, a prayer by the Rev. Priscilla Lawrence, a volley and Taps, followed by a move to the town monument at the Community Church and closing ceremonies.

The public is invited to accompany the one unit from the parade that will move to the Woodlawn Cemetery for a wreath-placing, a prayer by the Rev. Ruth Merriam, a volley and the playing of Taps.