Memorial Day Is Observed With Traditional Exercises

Solemnly reaffirming this town’s grateful remembrance of the hero dead of this war and past conflicts who gave their lives that America might live, all Norwood paused in reverent tribute Wednesday morning while veterans units, Gold Star Mothers and Fathers, church and fraternal groups, town officials, youth organizations and long lines of youthful drum and bugle corps marched with muffled drums to this community’s bivouac of the dead.

Following the long-established custom, the parade formed at the entrance of the “Old Cemetery” at Washington and Howard streets in this cemetery lie the bodies of Norwood’s heroes of 1776 and 1812, the men who offered their lives when America was born and who passed on long before Memorial Day was set aside as a day of remembrance, that to them a grateful people may reverently say — “we have not forgotten”

To John Flaherty, Commander of Norwood’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2452, was accorded this year’s position of chief marshal. He had chosen as his chief aide Harry J Hochheim Commander of Post No. 470, American Legion.


Hundreds of spectators lined the streets and sidewalks all the way down Washington Street, up Winter Street and to the gates of Highland Cemetery as the marchers walked briskly along to the tune of martial music set by the Weymouth Legion Band and taken up intermittently by the Drum Corps groups of St. Catherine’s Church and the Norwood High School. The observers stood in the chill wind with bowed heads even as a light ram fell almost before the head of the column had reached the intersection of Washington and Winter streets.

The 11th Company State Guard led by Lieut. Gilbert Weldman and Sgt. Frank Farrier provided the firing squad for the soldiers’ rifle salute to the dead. Only a platoon of the company were in line this year. America is still at war — and the members of Norwood’s home front military unit were at their jobs in local factories producing the tools of war to hasten the approaching V-J Day.


Gold Star Mothers numbering nearly 20, who had expressed a desire to make the trip to the cemetery, were In closed cars near the end of the marching units. As these cars came slowly along the street a deep silence fell on the spectators. Although the cars bore no flags, hats came off, tears were seen in the eyes of women — other women who understood and grieved too for the mothers of sons who had gone out bravely to the war, and who would not return. The hearts of many of Norwood’s mothers trembled and in their eyes was reflected the understanding which those who suffer grief and uncertainty in a small community have for one another, or seven years.

Upon reaching the cemetery the various units fanned out on assignment to graves of veterans where they laid flowers and held individual services Clergymen stopped at graves to pray and at all ends of the cemetery family groups met near plots where loved ones were burled.

Following the decoration of graves, a salute by the State Guard Firing squad, the refrain of the bugle-sounding army ‘‘taps” (the soldiers’ farewell), sounded from a point at the far end of the cemetery. The band sounded the notes of “America” while the spectators joined In the words.

Rev. Edmund A. Miller opened the program at the bandstand with prayer which was followed by the reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address by Robert Chamberlain.

The traditional G.A.R. service was conducted by the Sons of Union Veterans, Walter S. Carter, Commander, and H. E. Rice, chaplain.

At the conclusion of the cemetery services the parade reformed and swung through Prospect Street to Vernon Street, to Washington Street, and passed in review along Washington Street to Norwood Square.

(All articles were originally published in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)