The Tri-Town’s schedule of Memorial Day festivities is jam-packed this year, with Mattapoisett and Rochester joining forces to celebrate the life and service of SPC Steven E. Gutowski, a Plymouth resident slain in Afghanistan on Sept. 28, 2011.
Known as “Guto” to his fellow soldiers and “Goot” to friends and family in Plymouth, where he worked for the Recreation Department, Gutowski was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
The Florence Eastman American Legion Post 280’s events begin at 1:30 pm on Memorial Day, May 27, at the Mattapoisett Library Grounds. As part of the program, Gutowski’s mother, Joan, will deliver remarks as Principal Speaker.
Other highlights include a speech from Commander Michael Lamoureux, music from the Old Hammondtown Orchestra, an address from Rep. William M. Straus, a message from Veteran Agent Berry Denham, and a reading of the Gettysburg Address from Johanna Appleton of Old Rochester Regional Junior High School.
After the ceremony, members of the Legion will place wreaths on the War Memorials. Parade Marshall Lamoureux will assemble the marchers, who will proceed to the Town Wharf for a JROTC Firing Squad Salute to the veterans who lost their lives at sea, then to Cushing Cemetery to fire a salute to those who lost their lives on land, and ending at the Legion Hall.
Marion’s parade, meanwhile, will start at 9:00 am on Memorial Day at the Music Hall. After a rendition of the National Anthem from the Sippican School Band and short ceremony at the Civil War Monument, according to officials, the parade will proceed:
“South on Front Street to Main Street, west on Main Street, then north on to Spring Street, for a ceremony at the Marion Town Hall.
After the ceremony at the Marion Town Hall, the parade will continue north on Spring Street to Old Landing Cemetery for a ceremony at the graveside of Benjamin D. Cushing.
The parade will continue through Old Landing Cemetery, north on Mill Street to Ryders Lane, east on Ryders Lane to Old Landing Veterans Memorial Park for a ceremony at the
World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf War Monuments.”
On May 25 at 10:00 am, members of the Benjamin D. Cushing Post 2425 Veterans of Foreign Wars will place flowers on the graves of deceased veterans of all wars. The placement of flowers will start at Evergreen Cemetery and then proceed to three other cemeteries in Marion.
By Shawn Badgley