Memorial Day 2020, Observed Remotely but With Fervor

For many years, Bedford has observed Memorial Day in a series of remembrances of historic conflicts, from the American Revolution, through the Civil War, to more contemporary battles.

The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has meant a stay-at-home advisory issued by Governor Baker on March 23, canceling all public gatherings. Thanks to Bedford’s Patriotic Holiday Committee and Bedford TV, a virtual observance of Memorial Day 2020 aired at 11 am, the same time an in-person ceremony would have begun at Veterans Memorial Park. The video will also air at 2 pm, and it can be viewed on YouTube at any time.

How Has Bedford Observed Memorial Day in Recent Years?

Bedford’s Memorial Day observance has traditionally moved from the American Legion Post 221 honoring those who served in several conflicts, including the attempt to rescue hostages held in Iran in 1980, to the Civil War memorial at Shawsheen Cemetery. Then it proceeded along the Great Road where a wreath was tossed into the Shawsheen River in memory of those lost at sea. At the Old Burying Ground on Springs Road, speakers honored the final resting place for Bedford’s original Minutemen and several slaves who walked to North Bridge at the start of the American Revolution.

Led by an honor guard from the Bedford Fire and Police departments, Bedford’s parade stepped off from the Memorial to Fallen Heroes along Mudge Way, dedicated to four graduates of Bedford High School killed in action in Vietnam and in Iraq.

Marching along The Great Road, the parade would stop at the World War I memorial on Bedford Common. The plaque on that monument is dedicated to “The Men of Bedford who gave their lives,” but also includes the names of several women.

The parade would end at Veterans Memorial Park, dedicated in 2015, for a final observance typically attended by a large crowd.

Memorial Day 2020 in The Bedford Citizen

Under the ‘Bedford Explained’ banner, there was a survey of Bedford’s war memorials.

The DPW reported on its work at Shawsheen Cemetery and the Old Burying Ground where more than 700 flags honor the final resting places of servicemen and servicewomen.

Compiled by Joseph Piantedosi of Bedford’s Patriotic Holiday Committee, the annual Honor Roll of Deceased Veterans keeps alive the memory of those who have served their country.

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Mike Rosenberg can be reached at, or 781-983-1763


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