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Baker-Polito Administration pays tribute to veterans, family members in Memorial Day commemorations



Photo courtesy of Charlie Baker

WINCHENDON — Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Veterans’ Services Cheryl Lussier Poppe and members of the Baker-Polito Administration were joined by legislative and local leaders to honor the sacrifice made by servicemembers and family members at a Memorial Day commemoration at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon. This year’s commemorations were held in-person after two years of virtual ceremonies.

“Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and reflection, and a time to come together to pay tribute to those we love who have given their lives for this great nation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The service and sacrifice of these heroes will never be forgotten, and we are forever grateful for their acts of courage and valor.”

“We are deeply indebted to the men and women who selflessly chose to serve our homeland, and their loss is one we can never repay,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I am proud to join citizens of the Commonwealth to commemorate all that they have given and to the sacrifice of their family members who they have left behind.”

In advance of Memorial Day, flags were planted at the gravesites at the Veterans’ Memorial Cemeteries in Agawam and Winchendon. Hundreds of volunteers decorated 15,000 gravesites at both cemeteries with American flags.

Today’s commemoration also included a reading of the Governor’s Memorial Day Proclamation by Dr. Coral May Grout, National Secretary of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said, “Our service members and their families have not only given their lives in the name of service, there are many suffering from the invisible and tragic wounds of war that aren’t seen. On this Memorial Day, we remember all veterans and their loved ones, and are committed to their healing.

Secretary of Veterans’ Services Cheryl Lussier Poppe noted, “From the American Revolution to the more recent conflicts in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, Massachusetts service members have proudly answered the call to defend our Nation and its allies. Memorial Day is a somber time, where we pause, reflect and remember the generations of men and women whose lives were lost in the name of duty, sacrifice and selfless service to our nation.”

Local Veterans’ Service Officers also read the Governor’s Memorial Day Proclamation at local ceremonies being held in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

Approximately 60 eighth grade ambassadors from Project 351, an independent nonprofit organization that builds a movement of youth-led service, were on hand in 55 cities and towns in Massachusetts to read Memorial Day proclamations.

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