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Many responsible for the success of Groton’s Memorial Day parade

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On behalf of the members of Laurence W. Gay Post 55 of the American Legion, I would like to extend our thanks to all who were part of Groton’s Memorial Day parade this year.

We extend our special thanks to our grand marshall, Midshipman Louis Henry, Groton-Dunstable High School Class of 2008 and U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2012. More special thanks go to our three parade marshalls, Judith Sargent, Charles Elwood and Rick Muehlke, all Navy veterans. Our thanks go to the many veterans who joined us, including a number of “new faces,” as well as members of American Legion Post 139 in Ayer, and to the many other veterans who were at the side of the road as we marched and rode by. We also extend our special thanks to our other speakers during the Exercise at the Mound: the Rev. Giuseppe Mattei, pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, our chaplain for the day, and state Rep. Bob Hargraves.

Thanks go out to all the other participants in the parade: Groton Police Chief Donald Palma and the deputies from the Middlesex County Sherriff’s Department leading us on horseback, the Groton Minutemen Company, the drivers of the vehicles in our “motor pool” that transported those who could not march, our Board of Selectmen, the Boy Scouts, the Cub Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Groton Marching Band and Chowder Society, and the Groton Fire Department.

Our special thanks to the Groton Minutemen for firing the formal musket salutes, the Boy Scouts for the flag-raising detail at the Groton Cemetery, the Groton Marching Band and Chowder Society for playing taps at the Groton Cemetery, and the Nashua Granite Statesmen Barbershop Chorus for their special music at the Groton Cemetery.

Thanks are also in order for our “support” functions: the Groton Police Department under Lt. Cullen for traffic control, the ladies of the Laurence W. Gay Auxiliary Unit 55 for the post-parade refreshments, and the Nashua Valley Amateur Radio Club for sound-system support at all of our parade stops.

Our final thanks go out to all who watched and applauded from the side of the road and/or the Groton Cemetery. Your presence made you participants in Groton’s Memorial Day observance, and showed all veterans and their families that our community does not and will not forget the sacrifices that they have made for our great nation over the years.

A final personal note. I’ve been running the Memorial Day parade for 12 years now and have made adjustments (hopefully improvements) over those 12 years in response to input from veterans and the community. While I think the Legion and I have done a good job, there is always room for improvement. If you have any comments or suggestions, please pass them on to me while they are still fresh in your mind. We will evaluate all input and make further adjustments in the future (some adjustments are already in the works).

You can leave a message on my Groton veterans services officer phone at 978-448-1175, e-mail me at veteran@townofgroton.org, or mail your input to American Legion Post 55, P.O. Box 755, Groton, MA 01450.

Thanks again to all of you and we look forward to seeing you next year!

BOB JOHNSON

Groton, Parade Adjutant

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