Pelham Memorial Day

A Day of Reverence, Remembrance and Honor

June 6, 2014

by Len Lathrop

Memorial Day in Pelham continues to be a morning of reverence, remembrance and honor for those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.  In a joint effort of the VFW Post 10722 and the American Legion Post 100, ceremonies began at 9 a.m. with a wreath laying at the veterans memorial at Pelham Veterans Memorial Park with all due honors.

For the first year a wreath was placed at the Gionet Bridge.  The bridge was named this past year in honor of Pelham resident U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel R. Gionet, who gave his life in Iraq on June 4, 2006.  The wreath was placed by his mother, Denise, and his grandfather, which was followed by prayers and the sounding of “Taps.”

As is the tradition, marchers formed at the Village Green and, led by honor guards from both the VFW and American Legion, ushered veterans, Pelham High School bands and many Scout troops to the Gibson Cemetery.

The Claudia Combs Singers offered the national anthem, which was followed by prayers offered by Reverend William Ferguson of the First Congregational Church and various memorial readings by VFW command staff of Jim Ehlinger, Jorg Dreusicke and Aram Jeknavorian.  Next, the names of all Pelham residents who died in the service of our country were read, mentioning their service branch and the conflict where they gave their service to the United States.

Pelham Scouts, with assistance from Pelham selectmen and VFW command staff, placed wreaths on the memorial.  The Pelham High School Band played a moving military hymn.  A benediction was offered by Father Volney DeRosia, pastor of St. Patrick Church.

The parade reassembled and marched to the old village square for a wreath laying and “Taps” and continued to Legion Post 100 where a fifth wreath was laid to honor those who served.  Afterward, everyone was invited to a town-supported cookout at the Legion Post.