Outstanding! Memorial Day Parade tops all

... neither rain nor snow -- nor change of date -- tops annual event

from the SilverStringers

In spite of some confusion of dates, the annual Memorial Day
Parade in Melrose became a reality on Sunday, May 21 -- re-scheduled because of a
conflict with the celebration of the city's hundred-year-old Memorial Hall. The
crowd was slightly thinner than usual -- but never-the-less, the people turned out
to honor their veterans. On time, in step.

Above, we have the parade marshal, Major Eric DiNoto, executive officer of the 187th
Infantry, stationed at Melrose Armory and just returned from a tour in the middle
east. The VIP with the fancy glasses is his daughter, Rose.

Everybody enjoys a parade -- young and not so young.

The line of veterans taking part in this traditional walk down Main Street seems to
get smaller as the years go by. It appears that younger Vets aren't interested in these community functions.

An observation: It appears that most of those Vets attending such events are those
with staff ratings ... staff sergeants, petty officers, and upper ranks
of the commissioned officers.

There were several female soldiers and sailors taking part, most of whom took
advantage of provided buses. Marching alone, there was one veteran dressed in World
War 1 garb -- possibly a Brit, but associating with none of the several local
veterans' groups.

What a day to show off the city's firefighting force.

The Melrose High School Marching Band performed immaculately -- again. A placard
recalls that the troop is a winner of state competition.

... more of those MHS marching musicians ...

There were three marching bands in the parade: Melrose High, of course; the
Middlesex County Volunteers, dressed in their Revolutionary uniforms -- and the new
group composed of seniors, a marching band called the Crusaders, which draws
from the greater Boston area but meets at the local downtown VFW building.

Melrose has one of the finest police departments in the state -- but the officers
obviously are not proficient in marching in parades. Left, right -- no right, now
left, wait a minute, hey, get in step, people.

School groups came, the Chamber of Commerce participated, and individuals brought
what they had to show off. That pick-up is the only one like it in the world, its
driver said. It is a beautiful thing.

The schools, the pupils, the people came out to march -- or spectate.

The military was definitely there.

It was a time for the schools, the school troops, the kids and parents to take part
in this annual parade.

Class -- real class. This is the Middlesex County Volunteers, a marching band that
is never out of step. It's instruments are tied to history, the uniforms are
authentic, and the music was 250 years old. Like the historic people these musicians
represent, they too are the real thing.

The people participated ...

The schools participated ...

The seniors were represented ...

... and the Scouts were out in force. At the right are the people behind the parade
-- the people who put it together, the people who got to ride in the bed of a pick-
up truck, at the end of the day.

... photos by Editor Don Norris

June 1, 2012

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