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Let’s Make Next Year’s Memorial Day Parade Even Better

Dear Editor:

   On behalf of the members of Laurence W. Gay Post 55 of the American Legion, I would like to extend our thanks to all who were part of Groton’s Memorial Day parade this year.

   We extend our special thanks to our Grand Marshall, First Lieutenant Tyler Sullivan, Officer in Charge of the Honor Guard, Hanscom Air Force Base, and his Memorial Address which brought the true meaning of Memorial Day home to everyone.  Our special thanks go to Reverend Elea Kemler, Minister, First Parish Church of Groton, who added a special element through her Memorial Prayer.  

   Thanks also go to State Senator Edward Kennedy and State Representative Sheila Harrington who added two more insightful perspectives on Memorial Day through their orations.  Additional thanks go to the many veterans who joined us, including a number of “new faces,” and to the many other veterans who were at the side of the road as we marched and rode by. 

Our thanks go out to all the other participants in the parade: the Groton Police Department, the Groton Minutemen Company, the drivers of the vehicles in our “motor pool” which transported those who could not march, our Board of Selectmen, the many Scouts, and the Groton Fire Department.  

Our special thanks to the Groton Minutemen for firing the formal musket salutes, the combined Scout flag-raising detail at the Groton Cemetery, and the Nashua Granite Statesmen Barbershop Chorus for their special music at the Groton Cemetery.  

   Thanks are also in order for our “support” functions: the Groton Police Department for traffic control and the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club for sound system support at all of our parade stops.        

Our final thanks go out to ALL who watched and applauded from the side of the road and/or the Groton Cemetery.  As Lieutenant Sullivan noted in his remarks, your presence made you participants in Groton’s Memorial Day observance and showed all veterans and their families that our community does not and will not forget the sacrifices that they have made for our great Nation over the years.

A final personal note – I’ve been running the Memorial Day parade for twenty-one years now and we’ve made adjustments (hopefully improvements) over those two decades-plus in response to input from veterans and the community.  While I think the Legion and I have done a good job, there is always room for improvement and this is the TOWN’S parade, not the Legion’s parade.  

   If you have any comments or suggestions, please pass them on to me while they are still fresh in your mind.  We will evaluate all inputs and make further adjustments in the future.  

  We’re already looking into bringing music back into the parade, either through a band or one or more ‘sound’ vehicles.  Another idea is to place some ‘tent signs’ publicizing the parade around town the week before Memorial Day next year.  

   There is also some consideration to a route adjustment.  You can leave a message on my Groton Veterans’ Services Officer phone at 978-448-1175, e-mail me at or mail your input to American Legion Post 55, P.O. Box 755, Groton, MA 01450.  Thanks again to all of you and we look forward to seeing you next year!


Bob Johnson,

Parade Adjutant


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