By Gail McCarthy
---- — When it comes to service to one’s country, all veterans stand in one circle.
In the case of Cape Ann’s Memorial Day services Monday morning, there will be a blending of all sorts of ceremonies, with a special Gloucester focus this Monday holiday on the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.
Here is how our four Cape Ann communities are paying tribute Monday to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during wartime:
A year after the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, Gloucester’s ceremonies Monday spotlight the 60th milestone after the Korean War, with current South Korea Consul Khango Park heading the speaking program along with Gloucester Korean War veteran Mel Olson.
Gloucester’s Memorial Day parade, which forms at 8:45 a.m. and steps off at 9 Monday morning from Gloucester High School, will also include an extra stop for a wreath laying at a monument that stands as a joint Korean War and Vietnam War memorial at GHS.
The new stop during Monday’s parade will encourage observers to honor those who fought in the Korean War between June 1950 and July 1953, including six Gloucester men who perished in that war, according to Director of the Office of Veteran Services Richard E. Barbato. The six who died — Robert Lyman Bowers Jr., Joseph W. Briand, George A. Lane, Walter E. Manninen, Frederick E. Stanton, and Ralph Porter Bradley — are commemorated with a granite memorial on Stacy Boulevard near the bridge house.
The main ceremony is set to take place at 9:30 at the World War II Memorial at Kent Circle, with the parade set to reform and then leave Kent Circle at 10:45 to return to the high school and the ceremonies at the Vtetnam Memorial.
A luncheon at the city’s Major Fred W. Ritvo Veterans Center, 12 Emerson Ave., will immediately follow the ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial. In case of inclement weather, a combined ceremony will be held in Gloucester High School’s Benjamin A,. Smith Field House.
The annual Rockport Memorial Day Parade and ceremonies will begin Monday with parade that starts at 10 a.m. from Legion Hall, proceeds down Beach Street to Main Street to School Street then to Pleasant Street and into Beech Grove Cemetery. Services will be held at the V.F.W lot in the cemetery.
Commander Brian Sullivan will lead the ceremony. Master retired Sgt. Daniel Peters, a Vietnam vet, will be the guest speaker. The Grand Marshal will be John Bennett. The Memorial Day committee invites all veterans to march in the parade.
At the ceremony, fifth-graders Colleen Murphy and Charlie Ruiter will recite the poems “In Flanders Field” and “Answer to Flanders Field,” while kindergarten and first grade girls and boys will carry and place flowers and flags around the grave of the Unknown Soldier.
The second and third grade singers will sing “God Bless the U.S.A.” The elementary school band, under the direction of Fran Pierce and the High School/Middle School Band, under the direction of Anthony Covelli will each play a selection at the cemetery and at Lumber Wharf. And the high school marching band will be led by Drum Majors Chris Wile and McKenzie Beaton.
After the ceremony, the parade will reform and proceed down Pleasant Street to Mount Pleasant St. to Harvey Park where the parade will pause for a brief ceremonial laying of a wreath in Harvey Park. The parade will continue through Dock Square to Main Street onto Pier Avenue to Lumber Wharf for the ceremony to honor those lost at sea.
The parade will return to Legion Hall via Main Street and Beach Streets.
Anyone with a veteran family member who died between last Memorial Day and this Memorial Day who was not a member of the Legion Post No. 98 in Rockport is asked to call 978-546-9038 so their loved one can be remembered at the ceremony. Any Blue Star mothers and/or family members of active service women and men who would like to march in the parade are more than welcome to join in at the Legion Hall at 9:30 a.m.
In Essex, the annual Memorial Day parade begins at Memorial Park at 9 a.m., just behind the police station.
Veterans and representatives of the Police and Fire departments, and Town Hall will march and offer remembrances at several memorial parks.
The group will move to the Spring Street Cemetery and the Ancient Cemetery. Again, brief messages will be imparted and salvos will be fired.
The parade will proceed to the Main Street Causeway, where flowers will be cast into the water in memory of those who served.
In Manchester, parade participants will assemble Monday at 8:30 a.m. at Amaral-Bailey Post 113.
The seaside service for those lost at sea will commence at 9 a.m., with a wreath to be cast on the Inner Harbor and then retrieved to be taken out to the open sea in remembrance of those lost at sea.
Services will continue at the grave sites at Pleasant Grove Cemetery and then on to Rosedale Cemetery where the main ceremony will be held. This year’s keynote speaker will be the Rev. Jack Gentleman, of Sacred Heart Church, Manchester. The gathering will hear a recitation of the Gettsyburg Address and “Flanders Field,” and a salute to fallen comrades will take place. The names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in all the wars will be read. The parade also stops at William Hinkley Memorial Park for a salute to this Vietnam veteran, as well as stopping at the Union Cemetery and the 1661 cemetery, where the departed veterans will be saluted.
The group will continue on to American Legion Post 113 where the ceremonies conclude with the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem by the Manchester Essex Regional High School band.