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Fall River Memorial Day motorcade and activities announced to honor those who made ultimate sacrifice

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In partnership with the City of Fall River’s Veterans Service Office, the Fall River War Veterans Council, also known as The Greater Fall River Veterans Council, has announced that they will be conducting a Memorial Day motorcade to honor all veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

The motorcade is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 30th, the day before the official Memorial Day, which falls on Monday this year. The event will begin at exactly 2:00 p.m. and will start on Water Street near the Battleship Cove area.

According to Senior Vice Commander of the War Veterans Council, Bill Desmarais, this year’s motorcade will include eight chapters of Rolling Thunder, an organization that supports the care and upkeep of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The chapters will hail from Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Upstate New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, which will be leading off the Motorcade, joined by local veterans’ motorcycle groups and individual riders.

Following the Motorcycle Division, will be veteran organizations from Fall River and Greater Fall River, which will include the Fall River War Council, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, Am Vets, the Tin Can Sailors, Rolling Thunder, the 215th Army National Guard, various First Responder Units, and local businesses, along with civic and social organizations.

All entries into the motorcade will display their remembrance and support of veterans who have passed. Any individual or group who wishes to participate in the motorcade should contact the Fall River Veterans’ Service Office.

It is the tradition of Memorial Day that the Grand Marshal of the parade/motorcade be the Commander of the Fall River War Veterans Council, which is Commander Robert Viner. Prior to the motorcade, the Commander will announce the Honorary Marshalls of the motorcade.

The motorcade route is as follows:

-Lines up at the intersection of Anawan and Water Street
-Up Anawan Street towards City Hall on South Main Street
-A right on South Main to the Globe Street intersection
-A left up Globe to the intersection of Stafford Road and Brayton Ave.
-A right onto Brayton Ave. and down Brayton Ave. to merge onto Eastern Ave.
-Up Eastern Ave. to the President Ave. rotary
-Down President Ave. to Elsbree Street
-A right on Elsbree Street to Valentine Street
-A left onto Valentine Street
-Down Valentine to Highland Ave.
-A left on Highland Ave. to President Ave.
-Right turn onto President Ave.
-President Ave. to Vietnam Memorial Wall at Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park.

MOTORCADE ROUTE

Once the motorcade ends on Davol Street, the Veterans War Council will host and conduct the annual Memorial Day ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Council will host Rolling Thunder and their annual tribute to Vietnam Memorial Wall Veterans. According to Desmarias, Rolling Thunder usually holds this ceremony in Washington D.C., however, the New England Chapter has voted to come to Fall River’s Vietnam Memorial Wall this year, and every year going forward, to conduct the ceremony. An integral part of the ceremony is the laying of wreaths at the wall. Desmarias says that they will also be laying wreaths at all of the veterans’ monuments in Veterans Memorial Park.

Following the activities at Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park, all veterans, their families and motorcade participants, are invited to attend a free all American Dinner at the Liberal Club in Fall River, featuring the band Calamity Brain as well as D.J. Dan with a light and music show. Food/product vendors, raffles, auctions, and more will take place. The dinner will continue until 7:30 p.m.

Anyone wanting to be a part of the motorcade or any aspect of the Memorial Day activities, are asked to contact Bill Desmarais at (508) 951-6847 or e-mail at pd2071@aol.com.

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