Submitted by Paul Purchia, chair of Bedford’s Patriotic Holidays Committee
Bedford will observe Memorial Day, honoring the service men and women who have valiantly defended our country, with multiple events on Monday morning, May 27.
In the event of heavy rains, the parade and outdoor ceremonies will be canceled and the Veterans Memorial Park ceremonies will be held at 11 am in the Multi-Purpose Room at Town Hall on Mudge Way.
American Legion/V.F.W. Memorial Ceremonies and Walk to Shawsheen Cemetery
8:30 AM: Veterans-Dignitaries and Selectmen-R.O.T.C. Firing Squad. Members of the Bedford High School will sound TAPS, observe Legion Memorials. American Legion Chaplain Jerry Hartmann will offer prayer, memorial wreath ceremony with scouts participating, followed by Firing Squad Volleys and playing of TAPS.
8:45 AM: Patriotic Holiday Committee Vice Chair greets everyone. Brig. Gen. Oscar DePriest offers prayer. Brief statements by American Legion Post Commander and VFW Commander. Don Corey of the Historical Society to give brief talk about Shawsheen Cemetery and Bedford’s Civil War soldiers. Firing Squad Volleys are followed by TAPS to close ceremony. Walk to Shawsheen River. Joe Piantedosi will begin ceremony to honor Navy Veterans. Malcolm Roberts of VFW and Jerry Hartmann of AL will offer prayers. Flowers tossed into Shawsheen River followed by Volleys and TAPS. Walk back to Legion and drive to Mudge Way.
Ceremony at Bedford’s Old Burying Ground on Springs Road
10:00 AM: Capt. Bryan Nash of Minutemen Co. to introduce Lee Yates from the Historical Society who will talk briefly about Old Burying Ground. Minuteman Bryan Nash will read Roll Call of all Revolutionary War Veterans buried there. Terrence L. Parker will give a brief history about the ex-slaves buried there. Placing of wreath. Minuteman to play “Amazing Grace.” Musket shots by Minutemen, followed by TAPS by BHS Band members to close ceremony.
Fallen Veterans Memorial Tribute at Bedford High School
10:40 -10:50 AM: Roses placed on memorials by BHS students. Firing Squad Volleys are followed by TAPS to close ceremony.
Bedford’s Memorial Day Parade
11:00 AM: Participants include the Police Motorcycle – Bedford Police Honor Guard – Patriotic Holiday Committee – Grand Marshals – Dignitaries – State and Local Officials – Col. Genatempo – Veterans – Women’s Auxiliary– R.O.T.C. Marching Unit – BHS Marching Band – Bedford Minutemen – VA Bus. Girl Scouts, Brownies, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will join the parade at the WWI memorial on Bedford Common.
The parade begins at Bedford High School and marches to the World War I Memorial on Bedford Common where there will be brief remarks by Lee Yates of the Bedford Historical Society, a prayer offered by Malcolm Roberts, followed by Rifle Volleys, then TAPS. The parade will continue down Great Road to Veterans Memorial Park.
Ceremonies at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Great Road
11:15 AM: Greetings and welcome by Paul Purchia. Invocation will be given by Gen. DePriest. Bedford High School Band will play “GOD BLESS AMERICA.” William Moonan (Selectmen Chair) will speak, followed by Sen. Mike Barrett and Rep. Ken Gordon. Paul Purchia will introduce Col. Genatempo who will give Keynote Address. Introduction of Bedford student who will read their winning Memorial Day essay. Joe Piantedosi to recognize all veterans in attendance and announce the Roll Call of Bedford Veterans who have passed on during the past year. American Legion and VFW Women’s Auxiliary Presidents will place a poppy on each plaque memorializing the fourteen Bedford men K.I.A. in WW II, Viet Nam and Iraq. Raising of the Flag by our Grand Marshals Ernest Scheyder and Joe Damery while the Bedford High School Band plays our National Anthem. Frank Holmes to offer Benediction. Volleys fired followed by TAPS. This will conclude today’s ceremonies.
Note: In case of heavy rains, outside activities will be canceled. Veterans Memorial Park ceremonies will be moved to the Multi-Purpose Room/Auditorium of Town Hall starting at 11 AM.