With video: First Memorial Day parade in several years draws big crowd

By Douglas McCulloch | May 28, 2018
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch A group stopped during the parade to fire off muskets during the parade.

Although there were clouds, no rain meant Dartmouth’s first Memorial Day parade since 2015 could proceed as planned with hundreds of spectators lining the streets of Padanaram to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving their country.

Since the Padanaram causeway is still closed, the parade route began at St. Mary’s Church, proceeding to Bridge and Elm Streets where the symbolic wreath throwing ceremony was held near the bridge.

Two other ceremonies were held, one at South Dartmouth Cemetery and the final ceremony was held at the Dartmouth Police Department on Russells Mills Road.

“On this day, we are forever consecrated to our heroic dead, and we are assembled once again to express sincere reverence,” said Veterans Agent Roy Oliveira at the ceremony. “This cemetery is the resting place for many departed comrades, who served in all wars.”

Molly Rioux read the governor's Memorial Day proclamation before the ceremonial wreath was laid at South Dartmouth Cemetery. As Dartmouth’s ambassador in the state's Project 351 program, which fosters community-first leaders across the state, her participation in the ceremony was especially significant because her grandparents, both World War II veterans, are also buried in the cemetery.

“It was an absolute honor to do it, and I’m humbled to be given the opportunity,” Rioux said.

Among the crowds of spectators which lined the streets were Elissa Roberge, enjoying the festivities among a group of kids. The kids’ and her favorite part was watching the bands perform.

In both 2016 and 2017, Memorial Day parades were cancelled due to the rain, but the ceremonies were still held.

Wreath Ceremony
(Video by: Douglas McCulloch)
Band and Color Guard
(Video by: Douglas McCulloch)
Shane Pacheco stands next to his father Steven Pacheco moments before the parade began. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Dartmouth police stand ready to lead the parade. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Select Board member Stanley Mickelson and Shawn McDonald. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Firefighters march as the parade kicks off from St. Mary's Church. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Grand Marshal John Silva hands out flags as he rides in a car in the parade. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Marchers parade down the street. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Rev. Waters, who delivered the prayer at the South Dartmouth Cemetery, waves to the crowd. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
The band marches past St. Mary's Church. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
The ceremonial wreath throwing is carried out as a Dartmouth High band member plays Taps. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
The wreath is in place at South Dartmouth Cemetery. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Samantha Mello takes a flag. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Brennan Carter and Tyler Hathaway have their photo taken as the parade marches past. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
A group of young parade-watchers sit in the bed of a pickup truck on Elm Street as the parade marches past. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Elissa Roberge, Wayland Leandro, 3, Cami Silva, 10 months, Nola Roberge, 2, Aubrey Santos, 3, and Sarah Martin. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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