TOWNSEND — Memorial Day will be observed in Townsend on Sunday, May 28. Members of Townsend VFW Post #6538 and American Legion Post #199 and their Auxiliaries will attend the 9:30 a.m. service at the First Baptist Church of West Townsend as a body. Two parades and a band concert will take place in the afternoon.
All marching units will assemble at the VFW Park in West Townsend at 1 p.m. Rev. Mark Brockmeier will offer the invocation at the memorial service to be held there at 1:30 p.m. before the Veterans’ groups accompanied by the Townsend Military Band, the Townsend Fire/EMS Department, the Townsend Minuteman Company, the Townsend Knights of Columbus Council #14842, the Daughters of Isabella Mother Teresa Circle #1442, NM Cares, members of the clergy, town officials, and numerous Scout groups march east on Main Street to Canal Street.
Flowers will be strewn upon the water from a decorated boat during the memorial service at the Canal Street Bridge in honor of those who lost their lives at sea. Following the service at the bridge, all units will proceed to the Riverside Cemetery for a memorial service. At both of these services Rev. Kevin Patterson will give the invocation, the Townsend Military Band will play a hymn, volleys will be fired by the American Legion Post #199 Firing Squad, and taps will be played.
The parade will disband after leaving the cemetery to later reform at the Spaulding Memorial School in Townsend Center. At approximately 2:35 p.m., the Townsend Minuteman Company will fire a salute at the Bicentennial Monument in front of the school before the marching units move down Turnpike Road to the Main Street Bridge. Those who lost their lives at sea will also be honored during the Main Street Bridge memorial service with flowers being strewn upon the water from a decorated boat.
Following the service at the bridge, the marchers will parade to Memorial Hall for a memorial service. Pastor Chris Jones will offer the invocations at the bridge and Memorial Hall. The parade will then pass around the Common and go to the Hillside Cemetery for a memorial service.
The Freemasons of the Grand of Massachusetts, who will join the parade at the school, will separate from the other marchers at the cemetery so they may conduct a special memorial service at the grave of Henry Price, the founder of Masonry in America.
After leaving the cemetery, the parade will move down Highland Street to Brookline Street and into the Townsend Common. Rev. Jeremy St. Martin will give the invocations at the cemetery and the Common. The invocation at the Common will be followed by the presentation of the Gettysburg Address by a Boy Scout and Flanders Field by a Girl Scout. The parade will disband after the memorial service at the Civil War Monument on the Common.
Townsend’s Memorial Day observances will continue as the Townsend Military Band presents a concert from the band stand on the Common beginning approximately fifteen minutes after the parade’s conclusion. The band will perform Bagley’s “National Emblem” march and “Kentucky 1800” by Grundman. The “Grand American Fantasia” by Bendix, “Our America” arranged by Higgins, and the “Peacemaker March” by King will be included in the afternoon program. The “Salute to the Armed Forces” arranged by Kirkland and “America the Beautiful” arranged by Dragon will be performed before the Townsend Military Band concludes its Memorial Day concert at approximately 5:00 p.m. by playing the “Star Spangled Banner”.
The Townsend Memorial Day observances will be held rain or shine. It is hoped that many area residents will come out to watch the ceremonies. All Veterans and active military, with or without uniforms, and/or members of their families are encouraged to march with the American Legion and
Veterans of Foreign Wars members and to join them in honoring all deceased Comrades.
The Townsend Fire/EMS Relief Association will offer hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, cold soda, and bottled water for sale at the Common from noon through the afternoon band concert.