Wareham honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day

May 28, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat A member of the American Legion tosses a wreath into the water at Besse Park as part of Monday's Memorial Day ceremonies.

A small dedicated group gathered at nine spots in Wareham Monday morning, paying tribute to those who fought and died for their country.

Members of the Wareham Veterans Council, Wareham Militia, American Legion, the high school’s Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps and Wareham Police Department participated in a series of solemn ceremonies. Held at veterans monuments and cemeteries throughout town, the events featured an invocation, wreath laying, taps and a three-volley salute.

At Besse Park, the day’s fourth stop, a floating wreath was dropped in the water to “honor those that lost their lives at sea,” said Col. Matt Stanton, of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

Stanton offered special recognition to Vietnam veteran James Bruce, who has been a driving force behind the town’s Memorial Day ceremonies.

“Year after year, James Bruce has helped honor soldiers, seamen, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen for the sacrifices they’ve made,” said Stanton.

At Agawam Cemetery, members of the Friends of the Wareham Veterans Council showed their appreciation by providing coffee and donuts.

A fairly new group, the friends formed before the arrival of the Vietnam Moving Wall last summer. The group helped bring the mobile monument to town by raising some of the $40,000 needed. Members said they’ve been supporting the council since then and will continue their efforts to help and show appreciation for local veterans.

Col. Matt Stanton of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps speaks during a Memorial Day ceremony at Besse Park. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Vietnam veteran James Bruce has helped organize the town's Memorial Day events for several years. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Members of the Wareham Militia in Besse Park. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
From left: Joan Powalitis, Marilyn Donahue, Jacqui Hickey, Joyce Wagner, Gina Brosnahan and Eleanor Martin pass out free donuts and coffee to those who participated in Monday's Memorial Day ceremonies. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
A police honor guard in Besse Park on Monday. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Members of the American Legion provide a three-volley salute on Monday. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
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