WAKEFIELD —  Two Memorial Day ceremonies are planned for Monday, the first at 10 in the morning at Moulton Park and the other at 1 p.m. on the Veterans Memorial Common in front of the World War II Memorial. 

Hosted by the West Side Social Club, the morning ceremony includes the remembrance of those young men and women from the West Side neighborhoods who died while serving their country in the armed forces. If the weather does not cooperate, the ceremony will be held in the hall at the West Side Social Club on Harrington Court.

The public is welcome at both events.

Retired U.S. Army Captain Brendan Callanan will be the keynote speaker at the West Side event Monday. He attended West Point from 1994-1998. After graduation, he was commissioned as an Army Infantry Officer. After graduating from the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne School, and Ranger School, he served with the First Calvary Division at Fort Hood, TX. 

For five years, he was a Rifle Platoon Leader, a Scout Platoon Leader, and a Battalion Logistics Officer and left the Army in 2003 as a Captain. During that time, he had one deployment to Kuwait in 2001. 

The afternoon ceremony scheduled outside at the Common will feature Brigadier General Paul L. Minor presenting the Massachusetts Medal of Fidelity Honoring three Gold Star Wives: Joan Hurton, Jean Joyce, and Joyce Benson. Community members will read the 161 names of Wakefield’s Fallen, honored by the “Bell of Peace” provided by the Wakefield Fire Department. Spectators will witness a formal Twenty-One Gun Salute, our nation’s highest honor, rendered by the Colonial Battery 1st Battalion 101st Field Artillery Regiment, Massachusetts National Guard — “The Nation’s First.” The ceremonial battery consists of three M105 Howitzers, which will be positioned on the Lower Common. 

The keynote speaker at the town-sponsored event is Kristen F. Bauer, a former State Department diplomat. Her experience about “Vietnam Today” recognizes the sacrifices made by the fallen and their families offering hope for peace in the future. Ms. Bauer served as Deputy Chief of Mission (Deputy Ambassador) at the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of the Union of Burma from 2015 to 2017.  Ms. Bauer also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Jakarta, Indonesia, and as Consul General in Surabaya, Indonesia.  Earlier, she held the positions of the Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway, and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane, Laos.  She has held diplomatic posts in U.S. missions in Pretoria, South Africa; Hanoi, Vietnam; London, United Kingdom; and Bangkok, Thailand.

Wakefield Memorial High School seniors are sharing their talents at the ceremony. Nadia Collins is singing the “National Anthem.” Following the Twenty-One Gun Salute, buglers Lilah Hatheway and Caroline Dill will perform “Taps.”  Our color guard is provided by Boy Scout Troop 701. The Wakefield Girl Scouts will place a wreath at the memorial. Chaplains Robert Leroe, LTC USA (Ret), and the Reverend Brett Johnson, Emmanuel Episcopal Church are giving the invocation and benediction, respectively.