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Milton celebrates Veterans Day with parade, awareness

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  November 6, 2013 03:42 PM

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Decades of parades and Veterans’ Day observances hasn’t lessened the turnout for Milton, which is expecting upwards of 100 people for their Veterans’ Day festivities on Monday.

The parade is only one of the Veterans’ Day events ongoing throughout town in the week leading up to the Monday celebration, but should be one of the largest.

“It’s a pretty good turnout. We have a whole [space] in front of town hall filed up,” said Michael Cunningham, the Veterans Agent for both Milton and Randolph.

The day will feature a parade starting at Milton High School at 10:30 a.m., with service organizations, church groups, boy and girl scouts joining with town officials and legion members in a march onto Canton Ave and to Town Hall.

Selectmen Chair Denis Keohane is scheduled to make opening remarks for the ceremony, set to begin at 11 a.m., followed by an introduction by Frank Stout, chairman of the Holiday Celebrations Committee.

The observance will also feature Reverend Jeffery Johnson with the First Congregational Church of Milton, Paul McDonnell, Commander of Legion Post 114, a Milton High senior reading the final orders of General John J. Pershing, Milton High School’s chorus and concert band playing music, and the raising and lowering of the flag.

Speaker Daniel Magoon, with the US Army Airborne will also speak.

The parade will accompany a veterans’ luncheon at the Senior Center on Friday, which will be the 18th year for the event.

The events will go alongside an awareness campaign within Milton Public Schools around the holiday.

According to Moira Downes, a spokeswoman for Milton Public Schools, each child at Glover Elementary School was asked to find the name of a veteran, and then asked to attach that name to a miniature flag.

On Wednesday, each of those flags was planted in the grass outside the school, an event that caught the attention of the mailman and custodian, both of whom are also veterans.

School children made two more flags with their names and added them to the collection.

“It was very close to home, and a neat little way to bring it right down to the local level at their own school,” Downes said.

At Pierce Middle School, students created a “Hall of Heroes” with stars listing the names of students’ veteran family members. Meanwhile, at Cunningham School on Thursday, Mike Guibault, a member of the New England Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, will speak to elementary students.

“There is a new principal in the building and this was close to his heart and he wanted to do it,” Downes said of the new Cunningham event.

Cunningham students will additionally host a flag raising ceremony in the front lawn of the school, to be accompanied by a military honor guard. Two students will also read letters to veterans.

At Tucker Elementary School, students wrote letters which will be bound in a book by the Council on Aging and presented to veterans at a special luncheon. Students have been reading their letters aloud each day of the week leading up to Veteran’s Day during morning announcements.

Additionally, Milton High History teachers and Modern World Culture teachers will be discussing Veteran’s Day and common celebrations internationally, and Collicot Elementary on Friday morning ceremony flag raising ceremony and flag display.

With so many activities occurring, Cunningham said he was happy with the support Milton offered the thousands of members in the veteran community.

“Veterans Day is for all us living, to recognize us all,” he said.

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