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CHICOPEE – “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.” – Former President William J Clinton, 2000
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.
Stephanie Shaw, Director of Veterans’ Services says, “The last Monday in May has held the traditions for Memorial Day for nearly 50 years now. From putting up flags, attending family picnics, making speeches, and marching in parades. People have been coming together in community spirit and national unity for all generations of loved ones lost in service to be remembered on this very special day since 1868 and is no different in 2018, 150 years later. I am proud to be a part of the planning and organization of the parade, and look forward to sharing with all of you who will be joining us to celebrate here in Chicopee."
The City of Chicopee Memorial Day events are as follows:
On Saturday May 19th, at 3:00 PM, a dedication ceremony for the War on Terror monument will be held at the Veterans’ Memorial Plaza, located at the First Sergeant Kevin A. Dupont Memorial Middle School. There will be parking at the Dupont Middle school in their parking lot off of Academy Street.
On Wednesday May 23rd, at 5:30 PM, the Department of Veterans’ Services and Office of Mayor Richard Kos will hold the Charles H. Tracy award ceremony at the RiverMills Senior Center, located at 5 West Main Street, honoring Chicopee’s Veteran of the Year.
On Friday, May 25th, local veteran organizations will be visiting Chicopee elementary and middle schools, with a memorial service, a brief history of Memorial Day, and the
placing of a wreath at school flag poles followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem.
On Sunday, May 27th 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 111.
On Monday, May 28th, the Memorial Day parade will assemble at 8:00 AM at the American Legion Post 452, located at 37 Exchange Street. The parade will step off at 10:00 AM and march down Exchange Street, turn left onto Center Street and precede around City Hall and up Front Street to the Chicopee Veterans’ Memorial Plaza at the First Sergeant Kevin A. Dupont Memorial Middle School. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will commence at 10:00 AM at the American Legion Post 452. Notification will be on WWLP 22News and Western Mass News.
The public is invited to all the 2018 Memorial Day activities except for the school visits.