Memorial Day ceremony returns to Mattapoisett, featuring band performance, guest speaker

May 31, 2022

MATTAPOISETT – Select Board member Jodi Bauer says that while driving around the Tri-Town this time of year, you see American flags spring up everywhere.

“Keep flying those flags,” she said, reminding the audience at Mattapoisett’s Memorial Day ceremony at the Center School to take time to remember those who have fallen fighting for our country.

New Bedford’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps posted the colors to begin the ceremony, and opening remarks were delivered by Commander Rachel Peron.

“They died so we could cherish what they love,” said Peron.

Peron noted how exciting it was to be back after Memorial Day services had been canceled the past few years due to Covid.

She introduced State Representative William Straus, who reminded the audience that this particular holiday is not a day for fireworks. “This is a day to reflect,’’ he said.

However, he delivered a message of hope, saying that taking this day to remember those sacrifices is ultimately what makes us and our country a “better place.”

Sasha Volkema from Project 351 read the Governor’s Proclamation for Memorial Day. Project 351 is an independent nonprofit organization that encourages leadership and service among youth.

Ray Andrews of the American Legion stood up to deliver a message not on the agenda, it was a thank you for Principal Rose Bowman, who is retiring this year after 20 years at Mattapoisett elementary schools.

The Legion awarded Bowman with a Certificate of Distinguished Achievement.

“I’m not often surprised, but today I am,” Bowman said, getting choked up. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is quite an honor.”

Following the award, George Randall of the Legion read the Gettysburg Address.

This year’s keynote speaker was James Holmes, a professor at the Naval War College. He told the tale of Ernest Evans, an officer of the United States Navy who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II.

After the ceremony, a procession marched south to the Mattapoisett Library to place flowers on the Florence Eastman, World War I, and Civil War Monuments. Then, the procession proceeded to the town wharf to honor those lost at sea.