Islanders celebrate Memorial Day
The Island's Memorial Day weekend observances start tomorrow with traditional parades to the sea by school children in Edgartown and Tisbury. Monday, Island veterans' groups will hold ceremonies at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Tisbury, and Tisbury will host its annual Memorial Day picnic, open to everyone.
In honor of and remembering those who gave their lives in service, Americans nationwide have been asked to pause at 3 pm Monday for the National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress.
The weekend ceremonies start on Friday, May 22.
At 12:30 pm, Tisbury School students begin their traditional March to the Sea from the school grounds to Owen Park, via Spring Street and Main Street.
After throwing flowers into the water in memory of those who died in war, they will gather for a ceremony at the flagpole at the top of Owen Park.
Mev Good of Vineyard Haven, a WWII veteran who served in the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, and Veterans Services Officer Jo Ann Murphy will be the guest speakers. If it rains, the ceremony 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 to Memorial Wharf.
A ceremony at the wharf will feature Lt. Col. Fred "Ted" Morgan USA (Ret.) as the guest speaker. An Edgartown selectman for almost 30 years, Mr. Morgan was a member of the 505th parachute infantry regiment, 82nd Airborne, during World War II.
The ceremony also will include recitations by the seventh and eighth graders and patriotic music by the school's Eagle Band. Afterwards, students will toss flowers into Edgartown Harbor in remembrance of the war dead.
At Oak Bluffs School, students from each grade will participate in a school assembly tomorrow at 2 pm, performing songs or recitations relevant to Memorial Day. Local legion posts and veterans' groups, as well as any relatives of students who are veterans, have been invited to attend the assembly and share their stories.
On Monday, Memorial Day, American Legion members will put up 400 flags starting at 7:30 am in Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven and take them down at 3 pm. Help from volunteers would be much appreciated.
At 9:30 am veterans from American Legion Posts 257 in Vineyard Haven and 186 in Edgartown and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9261 will join in a parade. After stepping off from Post 257 opposite Tisbury School, they will proceed to the Avenue of Flags at nearby Oak Grove cemetery for a brief ceremony.