Dorchester’s time-honored salute to the neighborhood’s fallen soldiers begins Monday morning with a parade from the McKeon Post to Cedar Grove Cemetery, where hundreds are expected to gather for solemn observances beginning at 10 a.m.
The cemetery on Adams Street has been the site of such ceremonies since 1868, when Civil War veterans marched there to observe what was then known as Decoration Day. The cemetery has been the scene of speeches and memorial salutes ever since, with generations of Dorchester families gathering to pay their respects to family members and neighbors who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the nation’s history.
This year’s observances will include keynote remarks from Army Sgt. First Class Gregory Kelly, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Sgt. Kelly is a native and current resident of Dorchester, a graduate of St. Ann’s-Neponset and Dom Savio, who has spent his entire adulthood in the armed forces, including the Marines and Army. Kelly is also a lieutenant in the Boston Fire Department. He and his wife are raising two children in Neponset.
This year’s “host post” is St. Mark’s VFW, commanded by Frank Cahill. The Neponset VFW Post will host an afternoon barbeque at its building on Neponset Ave. immediately following a ceremony at the Dorchester Vietnam Memorial on Morrissey Boulevard. Veterans and families of those lost in the Vietnam War will gather at the memorial overlooking Dorchester Bay around 12:30 p.m., immediately after the ceremonies at Cedar Grove conclude.
On Sunday, a Memorial Day ceremony will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery, 355 Walk Hill St., Mattapan, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include a short parade from inside the cemetery gate up to the WW1 and WW2 Monument where the ceremony will be held. For more information, please contact Arthur Smith of the American Legion at 617-298-7509.