Martha’s Vineyard will commemorate Memorial Day in many ways


Martha’s Vineyard will honor Memorial Day with solemn ceremonies of remembrance. The ceremonies will begin Friday in Island schools. On Monday, Memorial Day, Island veterans’ groups will hold an official ceremony at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Tisbury.

Tisbury School students will leave the school grounds for their traditional March to the Sea at 12:30 pm on Friday, May 25. They will march along Spring Street to Main Street and end at Owen Park. The community is invited to join them.

The students will toss flowers into the water from the dock in memory of those who died in war, and then gather around the flagpole at the top of Owen Park for a short ceremony. If it rains, the event will be held in the Tisbury School gymnasium.

In a similar observance, Edgartown School children will leave their school at 1 pm on Friday and march down Main Street. They will stop to lay flowers at the courthouse monuments, and then continue to Memorial Wharf for a program that includes patriotic music and readings. The public is invited to attend.

The guest speaker is Lt. Col. Fred “Ted” Morgan USA (Ret.), a World War II veteran and former Edgartown selectman for almost 30 years. At the program’s conclusion seventh-graders will toss flowers into Edgartown Harbor to honor veterans and those who died in wartime service.

The Chilmark School staff and students will take a bus at 12:15 pm Friday to the U.S. Coast Guard Station Menemsha. After a talk by a Coast Guard officer about the meaning of Memorial Day, students will walk to Dutcher Dock to hear remarks about the holiday from Susan Larsen and to throw flowers into the harbor in memory of the nation’s war dead.

Friday morning at 8:30 am, Oak Bluffs School students will perform songs, poems, and recitations by grade in honor of invited Island veterans.

The West Tisbury School will hold an assembly at 2 pm where students will hear remarks about Memorial Day and sing patriotic music, accompanied by the school band.

Tisbury hosts parade, ceremony and picnic

On Monday, Memorial Day, American Legion members will put up flags at the cemetery starting at 7:30 am and take them down at 3 pm. Volunteers to help put up and take down the flags are appreciated.

At 9:30 am, members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars step off for a parade from American Legion Post 257 opposite Tisbury School to Oak Grove Cemetery.

A brief ceremony follows at the Avenue of Flags where representatives of the branches of military services will lay wreaths. Richard Christopher, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, will be the guest speaker. Mr. Christopher is currently the commander of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Saugus Chapter.

Also on Monday, Tisbury hosts a Memorial Day Picnic open to everyone from noon to 4 pm on the grounds of the Tisbury Water Works on West Spring Street off State Road. There is no rain date.

Those who attend are asked to bring a picnic lunch and lawn chairs or a blanket, and leave their dogs at home. Picnickers who bring hot dogs and hamburgers may have them cooked on a gas grill by a crew of volunteer cooks. Free ice cream will be available.

Entertainment includes live music provided by the Flying Elbows, as well as outdoor games, pony rides, and rowboat rides. The newly renovated Tashmoo Spring Building will be open to the public and feature an exhibit by Tisbury Waterways.

Picnic-goers are encouraged to take the bus, because parking is limited. Vineyard Transit Authority buses that travel the State Road route past West Spring Street will stop at the Tashmoo overlook during picnic hours.

Moment of Remembrance

At 3 pm, Monday Americans nationwide have been asked to pause in silence for the National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress to remember and honor those who gave their lives in service to their country.