Local towns prepare for annual Memorial Day observances Published May 11, 2017 By Jessica Casserly 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Hanscom personnel can attend Memorial Day parades and ceremonies scheduled to take place in local towns and cities in late May. The first official Memorial Day observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery May 30, 1868, to honor those who died during the Civil War and to decorate their graves. Today, Memorial Day is an opportunity to pause and remember the sacrifices of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who gave their lives to secure our freedoms. The city of Somerville will host a Memorial Day parade May 21. The parade will step off from Somerville City Hall at 1 p.m. and proceed along Highland Avenue to Davis Square. The parade route will continue along Holland Street and end at the corner of Holland Street and Broadway. For additional information on this event, visit http://www.somervillema.gov/events/2017/05/21/2017-somerville-veterans-memorial-parade. The city of Somerville will also hold a concert and fireworks tribute at Baxter Park, Assembly Row, May 29. The event, ‘Memorial on the Mystic,’ will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will feature the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, the vocal ensemble N ‘Harmony, the Somerville All-City Chorus and the Somerville High School Chorus. The concert will also feature a fireworks display over the Mystic River. For more information on this event, visit http://www.somervillema.gov/events/2017/05/29/memorial-mystic-concert-and-fireworks-tribute. Bedford's Memorial Day parade will be held May 29. The parade will step off at 11 a.m. at Mudge Way and proceed to the WWI Memorial at the Bedford Common. The Bedford Historical Society will hold a brief ceremony and the parade will then continue down Great Road to Veterans Memorial Park. The formal ceremonies will begin at approximately 11:15 a.m. and will include remarks from state and town officials. Lt. Col. Kenneth Ferland, 66th Air Base Group deputy commander, will serve as one of this year's featured speakers for the Bedford ceremonies. In case of heavy rain, outside activities will be canceled and the Veterans Memorial Park ceremonies will be moved to the Bedford High School Auditorium with an 11 a.m. start. For additional information on this event, contact Paul Purchia at 781-789-8974. The town of Concord will also host Memorial Day events May 29. The morning ceremony will begin at Rideout Field on Laws Brook Road at 9 a.m. The parade will assemble at Keyes Road at 10:45 a.m. and step off at 11 a.m. The parade will proceed to Monument Square for a brief ceremony and the reading of the Roll of Honor. For additional information on this event, visit http://www.concordnet.org/1158/Public-Ceremonies-Celebrations-Committee. In addition, the town of Lexington will hold a Memorial Day parade and ceremonies May 29. The Lexington parade will step off from the Hosmer House, which is located next to the Police Station, promptly at 10 a.m. and make stops to place wreaths at the Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Thomas Cosgrove's grave, the Civil War Memorial, the Police Memorial, the Korean/Vietnam Memorial, the WWII Memorial and Captain Parker's grave. The parade will end at the Lexington Battle Green where a formal ceremony will take place. The parade is scheduled to arrive at the Green between 11:10 and 11:20 a.m. In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be canceled and the ceremonies will be moved indoors to the Lexington High School Auditorium for a 10 a.m. start. For additional information on the Lexington events call 781-698-4640.