By Gail McCarthy
All of Cape Ann's communities will be marking Memorial Day on Monday with ceremony and services to commemorate those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.
Gloucester's program will have a new look, even as a traditional part of the event has been has been reinstated.
In Gloucester, the Memorial Day parade begins Monday at 9 a.m., stepping off from Harbor Loop, a new starting point.
From there, participants will march up Manuel F. Lewis Street, then along Main Street and to Western Avenue to the World War II Memorial at Kent Circle.
There, the city will host a ceremony to remember military personnel who lost their lives in all wars, with retired U.S. Navy Capt. Earl Kishida serving as guest speaker.
Master of ceremonies is Jeffrey Williams, the city's director of veterans services, while Mayor Carolyn Kirk, state Sen. Bruce Tarr, state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, and other local officials are scheduled to address the assembly.
Thomas Glenn of AMVETS Post 32 will give the general orders. There will be a moment of silence for prisoners of war and those missing in action as well as an active duty roll call presented by Debbie and Michael Bergmann. AMVETS Post 32 Honor Guard will present rifle volleys.
Following this ceremony, the group will walk to the traditional Vietnam Memorial ceremony at Gloucester High School.
The visit to the Vietnam Memorial was reinstated earlier this week after initial plans for the new route cut it out of the city's official program. The Vietnam Memorial program will be hosted by Vietnam veteran and former pilot Mark Nestor.
The Gloucester Office of Veterans Services is encouraging all returning veterans to join Monday's parade and ceremonies. A post-ceremony luncheon will be held at the Veterans Center, 12 Emerson Ave.
The music includes the Gloucester City-wide School Band playing "God of our Fathers," the North Shore Pipe Band playing "Amazing Grace," the women's a capella group 'Leven singing the national anthem; and Diana Newton, accompanied on guitar by Alecia Balduf, singing "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless the U.S.A."
In Rockport, the annual Memorial Day Parade and ceremonies will start at 10 a.m. from Legion Hall, proceed down Beach Street to Main Street to School Street then to Pleasant Street and into Beech Grove Cemetery. Services will be held at the Legion lot in the cemetery where Navy Cmdr. Brian Sullivan will lead the ceremony.
Samuel W. Coulbourn will be the guest speaker. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1957, served on destroyers, submarines, and a communications command ship, and he commanded the destroyer USS McCaffery (DD860) in the last months of the Vietnam War.
Grand marshal will be George Robert Fears, who enlisted in the Navy on July 17, 1946, two days after he turned 18. He attained the rank of DKSC (E8), While on active duty he served on several ships and is a Korean War veteran.
Fifth-graders Sarah Murphy and William Altman will recite the poems "In Flanders Field" and "Answer to Flanders Field." Kindergartners and first-graders will 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 and Middle school Band, under the direction of Jim Davison, will play selections.
Taps and an a taps echo will be played by high school students Evan Razdan and Matt Andrew Kostka.
After the ceremony, the parade will reform and proceed down Pleasant Street to Mount Pleasant Street to Harvey Park where the parade will pause for a brief ceremonial laying of a wreath. The parade continues through Dock Square to Lumber Wharf to honor those lost at sea. The Boston Minutemen Division of the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Corps under the direction of Lt. Marion Martin will participate as well as local Girl and Boy Scouts with the throwing of the flowers and the wreath in honor of the seamen lost at sea. The parade will return to Legion Hall.
Refreshments will be served to all children in the parade at Spiran Hall, School Street, and to the rest of the marchers at Legion Hall. All participants except the flower girls and flag boys are urged to be at Legion Hall at 9:30 a.m. Flower girls and flag boys meet across the street from the library on the corner of Broadway and School Street at 9:45 a.m.
The Memorial Day Committee invites all veterans to march in the parade. Any Blue Star mothers who would like to march are welcome to join the group at Legion Hall at 9:30 a.m.
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 98 in Rockport — and of anyone actively serving overseas — is asked to call 978-546-9038 to be mentioned at the ceremony.
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 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. A wreath will 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 gravesites 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. David Forsythe of the First Baptist 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 will reform at School and Pleasant streets at William Hinkley Memorial Park for a salute to this Vietnam veteran. Then the group will proceed to 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 will conclude with the rasing of the flag and the playing of the national anthem by the Manchester Essex Regional High School band.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or email@example.com.