Memorial Day ceremony planned

MANCHESTER - There may not be a parade this year in Manchester for Memorial Day, but there will still be two separate services observed by Manchester VFW Post 6471, according to Reinolt Tofer, Post commander at Post 6471.

It was a decision by the members of the post to not have a parade this year, but continue to have the two services.

"It was just hard to get people interested to participate," Tofer said.

The first service will begin at 10 a.m. at Dellwood Cemetary. Bill Mattson, president of the VFW Men's Auxiliary, will present a poem after an introduction from Tofer and a prayer from the post's Chaplain Don Cherbonneau. They will be accompanied by a local Boy Scout Troop and The Rifle Squad and Color Guard of the Dorset American Legion.

After the first service, a second will be held at Factory Point Cemetery at 11 a.m. The services will follow the same format, with the prayer and poem being recited at each.

Tofer said that in the past, the parade would connect the two services, and then from the last service to the Post. However, without the parade they expect to simply move from one cemetery to the other. While they do not expect many people to attend both services, Tofer said that he does not expect the lack of a parade to diminish attendants.

"Last year we had well over 300 in attendance at [Factory Point Cemetery]," Tofer said. "We're anticipating the same amount this year."

At noon, the VFW Post will be open to the public for an Open House. This final event will begin with Burr and Burton sophomore Devin Straley reading his winning essay from the 2012-2013 Post 6471 Voice of Democracy essay contest. Straley's essay, from the prompt "Is our Constitution Still Relevant?", recently brought him to Washington D.C. to compete against 53 other finalists. Prior to this year's competition, Straley finished fourth overall in the 2010-2011VFW Patriot's Pen essay contest for 6-8th graders.

During the Open House, there will be refreshments and a lunch served. They will also be selling raffle tickets for a patio set; the proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Post Building Fund.


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