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Local towns observe Memorial Day 2021

Local towns observe Memorial Day 2021

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was first observed on May 30, 1868, to honor those who died during the Civil War by decorating their graves and tending to cemeteries. Since then, it has grown and transformed into a day filled with observances, ceremonies, and parades meant to honor the fallen and encourage us to remember their sacrifices. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Mark Wyatt)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Hanscom personnel can attend local Memorial Day events, virtually in some cases and, in the case of at least one neighboring town, in-person.

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was first observed on May 30, 1868, to honor those who died during the Civil War by decorating their graves and tending to cemeteries. Since then, it has grown and transformed into a day filled with observances, ceremonies, and parades meant to honor the fallen and encourage us to remember their sacrifices. 

A few activities the towns surrounding Hanscom are hosting to commemorate the day are listed below.  

In Lincoln, there will be an in-person Memorial Day program held at the Pierce House on Weston Road at 9 a.m. The program will incorporate a ceremony where 16 Lincoln and Sudbury Gold Star families will receive the Massachusetts Medal of Liberty in recognition of their fallen service members.

Attending dignitaries include U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark as the guest speaker, Mass. Sen. Mike Barrett, Mass. Rep. Thomas Stanley, Lincoln Select Board Member Jonathan Dwyer, Sudbury Select Board member Charlie Russo, and Chaplain Peter Preble of the Massachusetts National Guard. Hanscom’s Installation Commander Col. Katrina Stephens will represent the base.

The Lincoln Minutemen will render honors during the event and the Concord Independent Battery will fire a canon salute.

For information on Lincoln’s ceremony, contact the Lincoln Parks & Recreation Department at 781-259-0784.

The town of Bedford has canceled the annual Memorial Day parade and other in-person ceremonies, based on state public health guidelines in place during planning. Instead, there will be a virtual Memorial Day town observance similar to last year's program.

“It is regrettable that COVID-19 health concerns continue to keep us from gathering as a community on Memorial Day to honor our fallen veterans,” said Paul Purchia, Bedford patriotic holiday committee chair. “Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Bedford TV will air the program at 8 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. on Monday, May 31. Bedford cable subscribers can watch it on Comcast 99 and Verizon 40. It will also be available on the Bedford TV YouTube homepage (www.YouTube.com/BedfordTVMA) starting at 8 a.m. on Memorial Day.

For additional information on Bedford’s activities, contact Purchia at 781-789-8974.

The town of Lexington has also canceled in-person Memorial Day ceremonies and will have a virtual program. Because 2021 is the 160th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, this year’s Memorial Day program will focus on Lexington’s Civil War veterans. The virtual program will air on LexMedia (https://www.lexmedia.org and https://www.youtube.com/user/LexMediaMATV) on May 31 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

For more information on the Lexington program, go to the following link: https://www.lexingtonma.gov/town-celebrations-committee/pages/memorial-day-ceremonies