Memorial Day Parade Canceled in Beverly, Mass.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lack of veterans cited as reason for cancelling parade for first time since the Civil War (Published Sunday, Jan 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Scot Yount, Beverly, Mass.) - "The feeling was that more and more of the vets just couldn't get around," said Beverly, Mass. Mayor William Scanlon.

    For the first time since the Civil War, the town did not have a Memorial Day parade.

    "You know when you see them becoming infirm and you now they are dying off every day, and the World War I guys are all gone there is a little pain," Scanlon said.

    This Sunday, the veterans gather in a town park instead.

    "There aren't that many of us left," said Bill McPherson, a World War II Navy veteran, a man who was there when the flag was raised over Iwo Jima.  

    "My wife and I have both been quoted as saying we are upset by the whole thing," said McPherson.

    There are veterans that are OK with the fact there is no longer a parade. People like the town's Veteran's organizer Jerry Guilebbe.

    "It's not about parades and down the street and waving flags, it is about what we did all week long, spending countless hundreds of hours putting flags on every veteran's grave, and remembering who they were," said Guilebbe.

    Tom Condon is the town's oldest veteran, at 93, he recalls those who were lost.

    "That people remember, who left and never came back, which is a lot of them, that's who I remember," said Condon.

    Tom's daughter Suzanne, believes that it is about more than older vets who can no longer march a mile.

    "It's a little bit of a reflection to people who are in younger generations not really realizing how many people fought for us and how hard life was for them to make life great for us," she said.