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Out & About: Upper Valley to Honor Its Veterans on Memorial Day

  • The American Legion Post 22 marches past City Hall in Lebanon, N.H., during the Memorial Day Parade on May 26, 2014. (Valley News - Will Parson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

  • Larry Greenwood, a member of the American Legion, Guyer-Carignan Post 22 , offers poppies for National Poppy Day. (Courtesy photograph)

  • Brenda Culkey, a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 22 in Lebanon, offers poppies to commemorate Memorial Day. At the end of WWI, the Legion adopted the flower as a symbol of freedom and the blood sacrificed by troops in wartime. May 26, 2017, is National Poppy Day. (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/24/2017 10:00:12 PM
Modified: 5/26/2017 4:38:13 PM

Lebanon — Generally considered the kickoff for summer, Memorial Day weekend brings to mind barbecues, baseball and beaches. Yet the holiday itself, observed on the last Monday of May, has a solemn purpose — remembering the men and women who have died in military service. Locally, it will be commemorated with parades, meals, ceremonies and more. And, as part of a national effort, American Legion Post 22 is urging people to wear poppies, in remembrance of servicemen and women who have died.

“The poppy is a tribute to the fallen veterans,” said Wayne Aldrich, an Air Force veteran and the Lebanon post’s commander. “We hope people will wear them right through the weekend.”

On Friday and Saturday, members of the post, its auxiliary and other affiliates will be on hand with the red flowers at several Lebanon sites, including the Post Office and a number of businesses.

Donations will gladly be accepted for the poppies, according to a news release from the post. The money will support local veterans’ programs.

With urging from the American Legion, a resolution has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to declare the Friday before Memorial Day National Poppy Day.

Countries around the world use the symbolic flower “to remember our fallen and support the living,” according to a news release from the American Legion. Wearing poppies on May 26 honors U.S. service members who have given their lives in the name of liberty, freedom and democracy, and reflects support “for veterans of generations to come.”

The symbol comes from the World War I poem In Flanders Fields, which references poppies that grew around the graves of soldiers who died on Flanders’ battlefields, in Belgium and France.

Nationally, the American Legion Auxiliary’s poppy program raises more than $6 million a year for veterans, military service members and their families.

A national moment of remembrance takes place on Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time. Here are some of the events scheduled locally:


Parade and Observance in Norwich: Noon. The parade starts at the American Legion Post and proceeds to the green, with stops along the way to lay memorial wreaths. It’s followed by a picnic that includes hot dogs and lemonade. Donations accepted. Lyman F. Pell American Legion Post, Beaver Meadow Road. 802-296-3123.

“Vermont Civil War Sharpshooters” in Bridgewater: 2 p.m. Historian Howard Coffin will discuss Company E, the 2nd Regiment United States Sharpshooters, and the Berdan rifle they used. Soldiers from Bridgewater and other nearby towns fought in the regiment. Free. Bridgewater Historical Society, 12 N. Bridgewater Road. 802-672-3745.


Parade and Activities in Tunbridge Village: 9 a.m. The events include a library plant, book and bake sale; Town Hall memorial service; and a parade and ceremony. The fire department will offer a chicken barbecue, by reservation. Route 110. 802-889-3274.

Parade and Observances in Piermont: 11 a.m. The parade starts at the Congregational Church on Church Street, proceeds to the South Lawn Cemetery on Route 10, with observances in the Piermont Veterans Memorial Garden. Afterward, lunch will be available at Piermont Village School. The Piermont Library book sale runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and a historical exhibit at the Old Church building opens at 1 p.m. Free. Route 10, downtown.

Soldiers Memorial Building Open in Lebanon: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Includes a display about World War I and historical re-enactors, in honor of 100th anniversary of the war. Coffee and doughnuts will be available. Free. Soldiers Memorial Building, North Park Street. 603-448-2758.

Parade in Enfield: 10 a.m. Enfield’s Memorial Day parade begins at 19 Main St., proceeds to Route 4, then to Oak Grove Street and left onto Main Street. Guest speaker is Tim Jennings of the Navy. Downtown, Main Street. 603-632-7501.

Military Memorabilia Display in Enfield: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A collection of artifacts from before the American Revolution to the present, in celebration of veterans. Free. Enfield Community Center, Route 4. 603-632-7158.

Ceremonies in Claremont: 10 a.m. The events include a parade that starts at Claremont Middle School and ends with a ceremony in Broad Street Park. A potluck luncheon follows at American Legion Post 29. Free. Various locations, downtown. 603-542-9222.

Parade and Observances in Lebanon: 11 a.m. The American Legion Post #22 parade starts near the old Sacred Heart School on Eldridge Street and proceeds through downtown, with observances to honor the men and women who died serving the country. Free. Various locations, downtown. 603-448-3054.

Wreath Ceremony in Hanover: 11:30 a.m. Dartmouth Uniformed Service Alumni, assisted by president Phillip Hanlon, will place a wreath at the foot of the flagpole on the Dartmouth green to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Business or business casual attire is requested. Dartmouth green, East Wheelock Street.

Observance in Perkinsville: Noon. A ceremony to honor the men and women who have served and passed on. Free. Perkinsville Green, center of town. 802-885-2221.

Juneberry Community Chorus in Thetford: 4-5:30 p.m. “Draw the Circle Wide,” a family-friendly Memorial Day concert that includes songs from the Wechihit tribe, England, Cuba, South Africa and Canada, as well as the United States. $5 suggested donation. First Congregational Church, 2596 Route 113. 603-448-1642.


Ceremony in White River Junction: Noon. A ceremony under the flag on the Veterans Memorial Brick Walkway will honor fallen war heroes. The speakers will be White River Junction VA Medical Center Director Al Montoya and Maj. Gen. Steven A. Cray. White River Junction VA Medical Center, 163 Veterans Drive. 802-295-9363, ext. 5880.

U.S. Navy Seabees Memorial Service in Randolph Center: 1 p.m. The services will remember and honor veterans. Free. Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery Chapel, 487 Furnace Road. 802-457-1127.

Aimee Caruso can be reached at or 603-727-3210.

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