WAKEFIELD — The West Side Social Club and the town of Wakefield will host annual Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday, May 25.
The West Side Social Club’s program will commence at 10 a.m. at the Club Quarters at Moulton Field on Harrington Court. This event dates back to the end of World War II. At that time, club members planted young maple trees around the perimeter of the baseball field in memory of 18 young men, all from this small neighborhood, who made the Supreme Sacrifice in that conflict.
Every year since, on Memorial Day, members of the club gather to rededicate those trees. In the years since, 11 more trees have been added to honor Wakefield’s deceased veterans of the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Iraq wars — as well as for all deceased veterans of all wars. Floral bouquets will be tied around the 29 individual trees, and wreaths will be place at the Memorial Boulder, remembering the West Side’s deceased members, and at “America’s Tree” in honor of the victims of 9/11.
This year’s featured speaker will be Alicia Reddin.
Alicia joined the district in February 2015 and serves as the primary Veterans Services Officer for Wakefield and Saugus. She is a U.S. Navy veteran who earned the Global War on Terrorism Medal as a heavy equipment operator with Naval Mobile Construction Battalions 74 and 27. She has a wealth of veteran services experience to include assisting VSO’s in the Hingham and Somerville offices in roles ranging from benefit application, veteran intake and event planning. In addition to her veteran services experience, Alicia is a candidate for a doctorate of philosophy at Lesley University and received her master’s of Education from Northeastern University. Alicia resides in Melrose with her loving husband, where they are devoted parents to their 7-year-old daughter Rosalie and 2-year-old son Gabriel.
All Gold Star Families, veterans, friends and neighbors are invited to attend this service. A light collation will be served in the WSSC Anderson Hall at the conclusion of the ceremonies. In case of inclement weather, all activities will be held in the Anderson Hall.
Anyone who would like to “sponsor” a tree to help defray the costs of the dedication is asked to send a donation to the WSSC Memorial Day Fund at 4 Harrington Ct, Wakefield MA 01880. The suggested amount is $40 per tree but any donation is welcome and appreciated.
Also on Monday, the town will host the Memorial Day parade staring at 1 p.m. Any and all veterans and community members are encouraged to march. In the past marchers have included Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, the WMHS Marching Band and veterans. Any other people groups including schools, sports teams or private citizens are urged to march and assemble at 12:30 p.m. in the Galvin Middle School parking lot.
The public is also encouraged to line the parade route — Main Street from the Galvin north to the Veterans Memorial Common — and attend the ceremony at the World War II memorial at the parade’s end point.
The annual ceremony, beginning at 1:30 p.m., includes:
• The posting of colors
• American Legion Post #63 Commander Tom Collins leading the Pledge of Allegiance
• An invocation by Rev. Bruce Lomas, rector, Trinity Church in Melrose
• The National Anthem performed by Wakefield Memorial High School senior Adam Tarpey
• Greetings from Selectman Phyllis Hull and state Reps. Donald Wong and Paul Brodeur;
• “God Bless America” performed by the Wakefield Memorial High Marching Band
• Keynote address from U.S. Navy veteran Alicia M. Reddin, Veterans Service Officer
• Wreath placement in honor of fallen heroes conducted by commanders of the veterans’ organizations and Wakefield Girl Scouts
• Public dedication of the Purple Heart designation by Alicia Reddin, Veteran Services Officer
• Introduction of Gold Star Parents
• Benediction by Rev. Bruce Lomas
• TAPS by Michael Mouradian and Averi Parece from Wakefield Memorial High School
• Colors retired
The ceremony will be held at the Galvin Middle School’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium if weather is inclement.