By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury residents gathered on the morning of Memorial Day, May 27, in the town center to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in service to protect this country. People of all ages came out in large numbers to watch the annual parade and ceremonies.
“I’ve been in tears driving all the way through the parade because the crowds are incredible and the people clapping and waving, it’s just beautiful to see,” exclaimed Dadene Robert Gonet who drove a military jeep with Korean War veteran Arthur Dobson, in the parade.
Maurice Depalo, chair of the Board of Selectmen and State Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury) opened the proceedings with welcoming remarks at the Soldier’s Statue located in front of the Shrewsbury Police Station.
The parade included Shrewsbury first responders, and members of the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen as well as the Shrewsbury High School Marching Band, Eighth Grade Band from Oak Middle School and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.
Prominent were contingents from the Charles J. Murphy Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #10278, and Ray Stone American Legion Post # 238, the Victor R. Quaranta American Legion Post #397 and Persian Gulf veterans as well as active military personnel.
John Travers, Adjunct from the Ray Stone American Legion Post, served as Master of Ceremonies for the programs held at the War Memorial in front of the Shrewsbury Public Library and then at Mountain View Cemetery.
Pranav Vadlamudi, member of the Shrewsbury High School Speech and Debate Team, read the Gettysburg Address at the War Memorial. Next Lt. Jeff Chin, Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Naval Reserves, presented the 2019 Memorial Address. Chin, himself a resident of Shrewsbury, brought the meaning of the day home to his community with his remarks.
“Shrewsbury has always been a community that understands what our veterans have meant for our country as well as for the free world. Our veterans fought for more than the safety and security of our way of life. They also represent the very heart of what our nation embodies, the ideal and value of sacrifice…make no mistake, our military families also serve with honor, courage and commitment,” Chin stated.
Members of the Shrewsbury High School a capella choir sang the national anthem at Mountain View Cemetery followed by a reading of General Logan’s Orders by Preston Karp, Shrewsbury High School Speech and Debate Team member.
Commander Jim Dunlevy, of the Charles J. Murphy Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #10278, performed the Wreath Ceremony and Salute which was followed by taps by the Shrewsbury High School Marching Band.
The Memorial Day Program concluded with a Benediction, the Shrewsbury Boy Scouts reading of names of Shrewsbury’s fallen soldiers and a selection of patriotic music by the Shrewsbury High School Band.
Prior to the ceremonies, the Shrewsbury Girl Scouts had placed flags in the cemetery.