The city will commemorate Memorial Day with a parade and a memorial service to be held in front of City Hall.
At 10:15 a.m., parade participants will assemble at the CVS parking lot on Pond Street 10:15 a.m. At 10:45 a.m., all veterans, residents and families are encouraged to join the walk to City Hall. Leading the procession will be motorcycles from the Patriot Riders.
At 11 a.m. in front of City Hall, the services will begin.
An invocation will be presented by Lt. Jeffrey Brunelle of the Salvation Army, followed by “The Star Spangled Banner,” the Pledge of Allegiance led by local scouts, and the Recitation of Recently Departed Veterans read by Mayor Donna Holaday.
The guest speaker will be William Hallett, author of “Newburyport and the Civil War.” Following his speech, the Newburyport High School Marching Band will perform a medley.
The gathering will then march to the waterfront. This portion honors fallen Coastguardsmen, Navy and Merchant Mariners who have given their lives for this country. A 47-foot Coast Guard cutter will hold close to the boardwalk by The Black Cow for the duration of the ceremony.
The Newburyport High School Marching Band will play the Coast Guard Hymn, and the Newburyport Police Honor Guard will render a rifle volley. A wreath will be thrown from the Coast Guard cutter.
The parade will continue up State Street to the Veterans’ Cemetery on the corner of Pond Street and Route 1, where they should arrive about noon. Nock Middle School students will recite the Gettysburg Address. Mayor Holaday will place a wreath at Veterans’ Memorial, followed by benediction by Lt. Jeffrey Brunelle. The high school marching band will then perform “Amazing Grace” and taps. The Newburyport Police Honor Guard will fire a rifle volley, and local scouts will place a daisy on each veteran’s grave to conclude the ceremony.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2016 will oversee the Memorial Day ceremony. The day’s events will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Alliance Park, where a ceremonial wreath representing lost sailors and Marines will be tossed into the Merrimack River, followed by a brief ceremony at the VFW cemetery, and at the Polish War Memorial on Market St. at 8:30 a.m.
At 9:30 a.m., parade participants will muster in front of the Fire Station. The parade will start at 10 a.m. and marches down to Landry Stadium for the ceremony. Parade participants will include the Amesbury High School Band, police and fire department, elected officials, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and Civil War re-enactors. All military, National Guardsmen, and veterans are also encouraged to march in the parade. It is recommended that military wear their uniform of choice and veterans wear an article of clothing that distinguishes them as a veteran (e.g hat, jacket, or shirt).
At Landry Stadium, high school students will read from text written by former Amesbury resident and Gettysburg National Park Ranger Chris Gwinn.
After the ceremony, a Civil War Living History demonstration will be held at the stadium, including the 35th Virginia Regiment.
Lieutenant David Jennell, a 44-year veteran of the West Newbury Fire Department, has been selected as the marshal for this year’s Memorial Day parade. Jennell served as a firefighter from May 1968 to October 2012, rising to the rank of Lieutenant in 1983. He was on the Board of Water Commissioners from 1974 to 2001, has been part of the Emergency Management Agency team since 1996, and is a lifelong member of the West Newbury Hand Tub Association. With his wife Kathy, Jennell spearheaded a town-wide effort to design and build the popular Action Cove playground off Bachelor Street.
The parade steps off from the town square at 10:30 a.m. on Monday and continues down Main Street to the Training Field. As it has in the past, the annual slice of Americana will include a procession of shiny antique cars, tractors, and public safety vehicles, a sampling from the local equestrian crowd, the always-colorfully clad members of the Historical Society, a couple of homemade floats, some boy and girl scout troops, and plenty of players of the baseball, softball, and lacrosse variety tossing candy along the parade route. Some lucky parade-goers will receive long-stemmed roses randomly distributed to the crowd by a representative from Paul C. Rogers Funeral Home.
State Rep. Lenny Mirra will be the keynote speaker at a ceremony held in front of the GAR Memorial Library at the parade’s conclusion. He plans to focus his talk on the origins and significance of Memorial Day. Following the ceremony, the fire department will offer free fire truck rides back to the station for the young and the young at heart.
Former Selectman and military veteran Dick Cushing is organizing the patriotic festivities this year.