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“As Memorial Day approaches, it is time to pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday. Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to secure our Nation's freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day.”
The Chicopee Veterans’ Memorial and Patriotic Committee and the Chicopee Department of Veterans’ Services ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom and to observe a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Kimberly Babin, Director of Veterans’ Services says, “For decades, Memorial Day was a day in our nation when stores closed and communities gathered together for a day of parades and other celebrations with a patriotic theme. Chicopee, Memorial Day meant ceremonies at cemeteries, speeches honoring those who gave their lives, laying of wreaths, and playing of Taps. I am honored to be a part of a longstanding tradition. Please join us in marching in the Chicopee Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 29, 2017.”
The Parade will assemble at 8:30 am at the American Legion Post 452 located at 43 Exchange Street and will step off at 10:00 am. The Parade will march down Exchange Street to Cabot Street, around Bullens Park and will turn left onto Center Street. The parade will then precede around City Hall and up Front Street to the Chicopee Veterans’ Memorial Plaza at Chicopee Academy. There will be three stops during the parade to lay wreaths to memorialize the monument at Bullens Park and the second at Chicopee Veterans Service to memorialize Charles Tracy plaque and the third at City Hall to memorialize the Civil War Monument. A ceremony will be held at the Veterans’ Plaza at 11:15 a.m. on Front Street in Chicopee in front of Chicopee Academy. The Civil War Monument, Vietnam Monument, WWI Monument, WWII Monument, a Cross representing the War on Terrorism and Korean War Monument are all located within the Veteran’s Plaza. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will commence at 10:00 am at the American Legion Post 452. Notification will be on News Channels 22 and 3.
On Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 9:00 am, the Department of Veterans’ Services and Office of Mayor Richard Kos will hold the Charles H. Tracy award ceremony at the Department of Veterans’ Services located at 36 Center Street honoring Chicopee’s Veteran of the year.
Friday, May 26, 2017 beginning at 8:30, local veteran organizations will be visiting Chicopee grammar and middle schools, with a Memorial Service, a brief history of Memorial Day and placing of a wreath at school flag poles, followed by the pledge of allegiance and National Anthem.
On Sunday, May 28th at the Vietnam Veterans’ Plaza on Chicopee Street there will be a Candle-light Ceremony at 7:00 pm hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of Western Massachusetts Chapter one-eleven. The public is invited to all the 2017 Memorial Day activities with exception to school visits.