Martha's Vineyard events will commemorate Memorial Day

Islanders will pay tribute to those who gave their lives in service to their country through school programs, a parade, and ceremony.

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In this 2013 Times file photo, veteran Edson Rodgers plays the trumpet on Memorial Day. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Martha’s Vineyard will honor Memorial Day with traditional ceremonies of remembrance. The events 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 22. 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 students 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 U.S.A. (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 9 am Friday to Dutcher Dock in Menemsha, where they will share information they know or have researched this week about Memorial Day. Afterward, student trumpeters Jack Lionette and Gordon Prescott will play “Taps” as their fellow students toss flowers into the harbor in memory of veterans.

Friday at 8:30 am, fifth-grade trumpeters and drummers will play “Taps” and “America,” marking the Oak Bluffs School’s Memorial Day community meeting. The event will be attended by Dukes County Director of Veterans Services Jo Ann Murphy and a group of Island veterans. The meeting program will include presentations about Memorial Day by second graders, a tribute to Meverell “Mev” Locke Good Jr., one of the Island’s World War II veterans who died this year, and remarks by guest speaker Lt. Col. David Berube, the Oak Bluffs Police Department’s chaplain and a chaplain with the Massachusetts National Guard.

West Tisbury School will present a Memorial Day concert on Friday at 1:30 pm in the school gym. The concert will include full class performances, solos, duets, and a singalong. The band will play numerous pieces, including “The Marine Hymn” and “America,” under the direction of Ruth Scudere-Chapman. The concert will conclude with antiphonal rendering of “Taps” by two middle-school trumpet players, Meredith Carlomagno and Kieran Karabees. Parents, community members, veterans, active-duty military personnel and first responders are invited to attend.

Tisbury hosts parade, ceremony, and picnic

On Monday, Memorial Day, American Legion members will put up flags at the Oak Grove Cemetery starting at 7:30 am and take them down at 3 pm. Volunteers to help put up and take down the flags would be greatly appreciated, Ms. Murphy said.

At 10 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 the cemetery.

A brief ceremony follows at the Avenue of Flags, where wreaths will be placed to honor those killed in war and the terrorist bombings of Sept. 11, 2001. The guest speaker is Navy Reserve Commander Paul J. Brawley of the Navy Office of Community Outreach. His unit serves as the central point for coordinating outreach programs throughout the continental U.S., involving Navy assets such as ships, the Blue Angels, Navy SEALs, and Navy bands.

Also on Monday, Tisbury hosts a Memorial Day picnic open to everyone from noon to 4 pm on the grounds of the restored Tashmoo Spring Building, 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.

Entertainment includes live music provided by the Flying Elbows, supported by the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council, as well as outdoor games, pony rides, chalk art, rowboat rides, and tours of the Spring Building.

Picnicgoers are encouraged to take the bus, because parking is limited. Vineyard Transit Authority buses that travel from Vineyard Haven up the State Road route past West Spring Street will provide free transportation for picnicgoers to the Tashmoo overlook.

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.