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

May 28, 2018

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.