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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, Lt. Col. John Bruggeman, inspector-instructor of the 25th Marine Regiment. Our thanks go to the many veterans who joined us, including a number of “new faces,” 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: Rev. Elea Kemler, pastor of The First Parish Church, our chaplain for the day, and state Sen. Eileen Donoghue, who joined us at the Groton Cemetery as she participated in as many Memorial Day observances in her district as possible. Thanks also go to state Rep. Sheila Harrington, who joined us for the first part of the parade before travelling on to another Memorial Day observance in her district.

Our thanks go out to all the other participants in the parade: Groton Police Chief Donald Palma and the Groton Police Department leading us with their honor guard, the Groton -Dunstable Regional High School Band, the Marine Corps 25th Regiment color guard, the Groton Minutemen Company, the drivers of the vehicles in our “motor pool,” which transported those who could not march, our Board of Selectmen, the Boy Scouts, the Cub Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Groton Historical Society, the Groton Peace Book, 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 and Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department 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 13 years now and have made adjustments (hopefully improvements) over those 13 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 inputs 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 978-732-1880, email 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

Parade adjutant