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New memorial unveiling and parades on tap this weekend

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MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND will include several parades and a memorial unveiling. Independent file photos/Trent Campbell

ADDISON COUNTY — Memorial Day festivities in Addison County this coming weekend will range from solemn to fun.

Three parades are planned, as well as the dedication of a new veterans memorial in Orwell.

Starting at 1:30 p.m., the parade will run through the middle or town and feature bands, community groups, trucks, classic cars and more. Bob and Sue Arnebold will be the grand marshals. Both have served Orwell for many years: Sue as the town clerk and Bob as an Orwell firefighter.

The town of Orwell will unveil a new veterans’ memorial at its town park this, as part of its Memorial Day celebration. The memorial has been three years in the making and will honor veterans of World War II and the Vietnam and Korean wars.

The unveiling is scheduled to take place at around 2:15 p.m. at the park, once the parade has ended. Castleton Veterans Post 50 will serve as Honor Guard, and other veterans’ groups have been invited. The Independent will feature a story on the new memorial next week.

The parades resume on Monday. The first is the traditional Memorial Day Parade in Middlebury in downtown Middlebury, which steps off at 9 a.m. The Middlebury American Legion-sponsored procession marches down Main Street from the college, around the green to the soldiers monument in front of Town Hall Theater for a memorial ceremony with speakers and a fife and drum performance.

Some of the bands and marchers will scurry up to Vergennes for the biggest Memorial Day parade in the state. The theme for the Vergennes parade, which leaves from Vergennes Union High School at 11 a.m., is “Service, Honor, Sacrifice.” The parade marshal this year is World War II veteran Ron Hadley.

The parade winds its way two miles to the City Green, where a ceremony will feature high school students Kristin DeGraaf reading “In Flanders Field” and Mason Charlebois reading the “Gettysburg Address.” Middlebury College Professor Emeritus Victor Nuovo will be the guest speaker.

Following the services at the end of the parade the American Legion will hold their annual chicken barbeque, to which the public is invited.

Tom Scanlon, adjutant at the Middlebury American Legion Post 27, said the parades on Memorial Day are a time when Americans can show their appreciation to those in the armed forces and their families.

“Salute our veterans who are there in the parade and especially those who have fallen in service to our country,” Scanlon said. “That’s what it’s all about; it should be about them.”

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