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Great Barrington Memorial Day Parade set for Monday

Great Barrington's Memorial Day Parade took a two-year hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and was canceled last year as a result of declining participation among veterans. This year, however, a group of residents have come together to organize the event.

Great Barrington — The town’s Memorial Day Parade is scheduled to be held, rain or shine, on Monday, May 27.

The parade line up for participants will be at 10:15 a.m. on Dresser Avenue, and the parade itself will begin at 11 a.m., proceeding to Town Hall for a ceremony. There will be a community picnic at 1 p.m. at the Great Barrington VFW, 800 S Main Street.

The Memorial Day Parade took a two-year hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and was canceled last year as a result of declining participation among veterans. This year, however, a group of residents have come together to organize the event, including Nadine Foster, Val Angell, Karen Johnson, Liz Shaker, Terry Chamberland, and Kim Jeffries.

Foster, who told The Berkshire Edge that she has had several members of her family serve in the military, will be singing “God Bless America” at the event. “I said to my husband that I hope I can get through it, because it’s a very emotional song,” Foster said. “It’s a song that pays tribute to every veteran out there that has given so much for this country. One of the big messages we are trying to get across with this day is that you wouldn’t have the freedom that you have today in this country without these veterans, whether it would be people who served in World War I or World War II, Vietnam, or the later wars. We need to honor them and keep their memories alive.”

As part of the event, organizers created a “sponsor a veteran” program. Residents could send a photo of a veteran in their family, and where they served, to be put on an 18-by-24-inch poster that will be on display during and after the parade. “The response to our ‘sponsor a veteran’ program has been very overwhelming,” Foster said. “Right now, we have 105 veteran posters. This is nothing that anyone on the event committee ever expected, and it says a lot about Memorial Day. These photos will all be held like banners in the parade, and we will have at least 20 rows of these banners.”

Foster said that World War II veteran Joseph Kay, 95, who served in the U.S. Marines will be the grand marshal for the parade.

She added that veterans and other community groups will be taking part in the event.

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