In a nod to the challenges faced by many aging marchers, the executive board of the Old Dorchester Post voted this month to shorten the route of the annual Memorial Day Parade by about a third, from here miles to two.
â€œThere is an age factor involved with all the posts,â€ said Steve Bickerton, commander of the Old Dorchester Post. â€œWe hope the shorter route will bring more veteran participants. We also really didn't get a lot of people watching the parade along Dorchester Avenue and Gallivan Boulevard. We hope the revised route will bring more people out to watch the parade.â€
All of the participating veterans posts from Dorchester will meet in February to finalize plans and to make any changes, Bickerton said. After that, the route plan will require approval from the city.
If approved, the parade would kick off at the McKeon Post parking lot by Florian Hall on Hallet Street after all the posts had gathered at the McKeon Post parking lot, Bickerton said.
The parade would then take a left onto Gallivan Boulevard, going past St. Brendanâ€™s and the Old Dorchester Post, left onto Adams Street, and then into Cedar Grove Cemetery.
Using the existing parade route, marchers with the Old Dorchester Post and McKeon Post marched up Adams Street and Richmond Street to the Lower Mills on Dorchester Avenue by St. Gregory's. They then marched up the avenue and across Gallivan Boulevard and into the Boston Home.
â€œWe would march through the parking lot there so the patients could see us and back down to Dorchester Avenue, down Gallivan and take a right on Adams to the cemetery,â€ Bickerton said.