By Nancy Reardon
Memorial Day honors those American military members who lost their lives while defending our country.
In Methuen, we honor our own with a parade of veterans, the Methuen High School Marching Band, Girl and Boy Scout troops, city officials, honor guards, first responders and others.
The American Legion Post 122 kicked off the Memorial Day Parade on Broadway, then onto Charles Street where they held a brief service at the Civil War Monument. The parade continued onto Walnut Grove Cemetery for another service. Gold Star Mother Celeste Vicente – whose son Cpl. David Vicente was killed in action March 19, 2004 in Afghanistan – placed the honorary wreath at the American Legion Memorial.
This year, the American Legion introduced the first grand marshal of the Memorial Day Parade. That honor went to 101-year-old Frederick “Pops” Beeley, who served with the U.S. Army during World War II and was the owner of F.J. Beeley & Sons Heating and Air Conditioning for 36 years. Sadly, Mr. Beeley passed away just three days after the parade.
Parade organizers plan to continue recognizing a grand marshal at this annual event.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8349 held its annual service at Elmwood Cemetery veterans’ lot. Members of the VFW and ladies auxiliary remembered their comrades through prayer and by placing flowers on a memorial.