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Memorial Day at the American Legion

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By Cameron Small
Hometown Weekly Intern

Due to poor weather, the Memorial Day parade this year was canceled. However, the ceremonies were still conducted at the Beckwith Post 110 American Legion. Poor weather could not stop hundreds of Medfield citizens from cramming inside to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty to protect the rights and liberties of others.

Some aspects of the usual outdoor ceremonies were continued inside anyway—the recitation of the Gettysburg Address (done this year by seventh grader Taylor Guindon), the playing of “Taps” (done by MHS senior trumpet players Emily Bozadjian and Abby Darmofal), the cookout hosted by the Sons of the Legion after the ceremonies.

Some aspects changed, however. Trills ’n Chills, an a cappella group, sang “America the Beautiful” instead lieu of the usual bagpipes. They also sang “My Country ’Tis of Thee.” The firing squad did not make an appearance, though in the close quarters, this was probably for the best. “Taps” was played only once instead of the four times at the different locations around town (once at Baxter Park, twice at Vine Lake Cemetery, and once outside the American Legion).

Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Alex Stephenson gave the Memorial Address this year. Lt. Col. Stephenson has served in Iraq and Afghanistan earning the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. “A nation builds itself not just by the men who serve, but by the men it honors,” Stephenson said in his speech. A key part of Stephenson’s speech focused around the idea that military heroes who make these sacrifices are “like you,” who also like to “binge watch Netflix” or “play sports.”

As William Mann, one of the Co-Chairman for the Memorial Day Committee, said, “Memorial Day is not just a day for cookouts and fun for the family. The nation mourns the loss of all Americans who died defending their country.”

From the Revolutionary War to Vietnam, thirty-nine Medfield residents have given their lives in duty of the armed services. May their sacrifices not be forgotten.

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