WILMINGTON — Although the Wilmington Department of Veterans Services canceled the Memorial Day parade, Director Lou Cimaglia wants the public to know that this year’s Memorial Day ceremonies are still taking place. The annual parade usually brings in lots of town sports teams and other youth groups to walk together — not to mention all of the town supporting on the sidewalk — which would certainly not meet current social distancing requirements.
In a press release, Cimaglia invited the public to participate in Memorial Day events starting Saturday, May 23. The only caveat is that social distancing guidelines will be followed — so everyone will have to wear masks and remain six feet apart, or be following any updates for the town that may come out before then.
The current plan includes decorating veterans’ graves with flowers and flags at Wildwood Cemetery at 8 a.m. that Saturday morning, followed by decorating memorials and squares at 10:15 a.m.
The ceremony on the town common will be on Sunday, May 24 at 1 p.m. starting with the rededicating of the Police Station Monument. At 1:15 p.m. they’ll be honoring Wilmington’s fallen war fighters and explaining the stories behind each monument.
“We read the squares and talk about why our fallen heroes have a square named after them,” Cimaglia said over the phone. “The public is invited to all events. We’ll be there rain or shine.”
He specified that special accommodations will be made in order to adhere to the most up-to-date social distancing requirements.
On Memorial Day, the ceremony at 11 a.m. on the veterans lot will have a short speaker program with Lou Cimaglia as Master of Ceremonies. There will also be a flag ceremony, a reading of the Gettysburg address, and taps by Ken Michaud of the United States Navy.
“It’d be great for people to be able to get out of the house, social distance, but still attend the ceremony to honor our fallen war fighters,” Cimaglia said.
He asks anyone with questions about the town’s Memorial Day celebration to call the Department of Veterans Services office at 978-694-6056.