Celebrating 'the most important words' of Memorial Day

May 28, 2018

Gray skies and threatening rain couldn't stop Rochester's annual Memorial Day Parade on May 27.

An opening service was read by Rochester First Congregational Church pastor the Rev. Robert Ripley, before the parade kicked off. Marching in the parade were town officials, State Representative Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett), members of the Rochester Memorial School band, Rochester Cub Scout Pack 30, Boy Scout Troop 31 and Girl Scout Troop 81001. Members of Rochester's emergency services brought up the rear of the parade.

At Rochester's Dagget Square war memorial, selectmen Woody Hartley, Brad Morse and Paul Ciaburri read the names of all Rochester veterans, from World War I to the present.

When the parade returned to Town Hall, the names of Civil War veterans, Vietnam veterans and Operation Desert Storm veterans were also read out. A Civil War memorial is located in front of the Town Hall, and the listing of veterans from Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm are located inside the Town Hall.

Straus spoke briefly on the importance of the day, saying he couldn't add much to what had already been said.

"The most important words of the day—the names of the people who left their lives and their potential to go far away in the name of service—have already been spoken," he acknowledged.

Boy Scout Michael Eby delivered the annual reading of the "Gettysburg Address," and Jennifer Williams read an annual Memorial Day proclamation sent by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.