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Memorial Day Parades Commemorate Those Who Served

The Laker - May 21, 2017


By Sarah Wright

Memorial Day is a time when we remember the men and women who died for our country while serving in the armed forces. Many towns in the area mark the occasion with ceremonies and parades.

Here are some of the local events planned for Memorial Day Monday (May 29).

The annual Wolfeboro parade will start at 10 am at Brewster Memorial Field with a flag ceremony, wreath placement at the Civil War Monument, a rifle salute, and Taps. This ceremony is then repeated in front of Carpenter School on Main Street and at the Wolfeboro Post Office. (A wreath is placed in front of a plaque at the post office, dedicated to the victims and veterans of the 9/11 event.) The formation will march to Cate Park at the docks for an invocation and some words from the guest speaker. After the speech, flower petals will be sprinkled into the water to commemorate those lost at sea. There will be another rifle salute and Echo Taps will be played. Each year, the high school band is asked to play a number of their choice to mark the occasion. In the event of rain, the program will be held in the Wright Museum. All veterans are encouraged to attend in uniform or veteran cap.

In Alton, a parade will begin at 10 am from Monument Square and include veterans as well as some classic cars. The parade first proceeds south on Route 11 to the old Riverside Cemetery, where there will be speakers including a chaplain, a military salute, and Taps. Then the parade will march back up the street to set five wreaths at the memorials in Monument Square. The local American Legion organizes the parade and also holds a luncheon for the public afterwards.

Moultonborough’s Memorial Day parade starts at 10 am. Parade participants will gather at Blake Road near the Central School, and then process along Route 25 to the town hall. Presentation of wreaths will take place at Blake Road, the Historical Society, and the Public Library. Castle in the Clouds will provide a trolley to carry veterans along the parade route. There will be a ceremony at the town hall to honor the town’s 18 veterans, including WWII, Iraq, and Vietnam veterans. An invocation will be given by Captain Scott McNeil, chaplain from the Salvation Army of Laconia and a speech by Elysha Pare, a local police officer who served in the United States Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Moultonborough Academy band will play and the Boy Scouts will lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. In the event of rain, the parade will start at the town hall and work in reverse, with the ceremony being held indoors at the Moultonborough Academy auditorium.

The parade in Laconia will begin at 10 am at Wyatt Park and process north on Main Street, stopping at the bridge to drop a wreath in the water for those who lost their lives at sea, and then to Veterans Square to hear from guest speakers. The Laconia High School Marching Sachems will play, and a choral group will sing a military medley as well as our national anthem. A light lunch will be served at the American Legion Post on North Main Street after the ceremony.

Belmont’s Memorial Day parade will start at 1 pm from the middle school parking lot, and will include police and fire vehicles, military, and the high school band. The parade will process up Main Street to Church Street with a ceremony at the Veterans’ Memorial. The Girl Scouts will toss flowers into the river for those lost at sea, and the police will do a rifle salute. After a word from the guest speaker, the names of recently-departed veterans will be read aloud and the high school band will play Echo Taps.

The Memorial Day Remembrance in Sandwich begins with a program at 10 am at the Veteran’s Honor Roll next to the Center Sandwich Post Office. This year’s guest speaker will be Pastor Ted Brayman from the Community Church.

Center Harbor’s parade starts at noon, marching from Chase Circle to the Memorial Monument and flagpole where the Interlakes High School band will perform, followed by a rifle salute. The parade will continue to the town docks, where the band will play Taps and a wreath will be dropped into the lake to remember those lives lost at sea. After travelling up Route 25, the parade will end at the cemetery across from the Congregational Church on Main Street. The pastor will do a reading, followed by a final rifle salute.

In Ossipee, the V.F.W. Memorial Day Service will take place on the lawn in front of the town hall at 11:30 am, with the flag being raised at noon. In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be held inside the town hall.

After two cemetery ceremonies beginning at 8 am, Meredith’s parade participants will assemble at American Legion post #33 for a 9:50 am parade time. The library will be the first stop, and then, following a stop at the cemetery on Lang Street, the parade will march to Hesky Park and the town docks bandstand. The Legion’s Auxiliary Chaplain will speak before the parade heads to its final stop at the P.O.W./M.I.A. Memorial in the park where there will be more guest speakers. After the service, parade goers can follow the parade back to the American Legion post for lunch and ice cream.

Gilford’s parade will begin at 10 am at the Gilford Community Church and proceed to the WWI/WWII Memorial, with an invocation, a flag raising, the high school band playing, and a wreath placed. This will happen again at the next stop in Pine Grove Cemetery, with a benediction. After some remarks from the featured speaker and then Taps, the parade will process back to the church.

Bristol’s parade will start at 9:30 am and process from the Freudenberg building off Pleasant Street to Homeland Cemetery for observances, and then to the Musgrove Bridge to place a wreath in the water for those servicemen who lost their lives at sea. The parade will then move up Lake Street to the middle school and end with a ceremony there. If the weather does not cooperate, a ceremony will be held in the middle school gymnasium at 9:45 am.

Celebrate Memorial Day in the Lakes Region by honoring our local men and women in the service.


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